Over a million Joburgers have had their jabs but five million more still need to vaccinate
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Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg has saluted healthcare workers at public and private facilities after the city this week surpassed the landmark one million vaccinations.
Expressing jubilation over the feat, member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development, Eunice Mgcina said the vaccination success is owed to “tireless efforts of the city’s health workers in the private and public sectors”.
“It is obviously a great success and we are elated at reaching this number. However, we still have around five million more people to vaccinate. We dare not be complacent about this achievement. We pause only to reflect how far we have come since May 2021 when we first opened our doors for vaccinations, and I am hoping that by March 2022 we would have surpassed the 3 million mark and more – which represents half the population,” said Mgcina.
“To this end; over the next few months, we are going to be out in full force at all the city’s seven regions to ensure that we get as many residents to register and vaccinate as it is possible. We are also going to be encouraging those people who are eligible for their second jabs to also go out and get the additional dose of vaccination.”
She added that the city, working with the provincial government, was also continuing with ward-based health promotion to get more people vaccinated.
“We have been busy across the City in the last seven days visiting and monitoring vaccination sites and I am pleased that despite the persistent cold weather; residents are still coming out to get their jabs. However, we are ramping up our campaign and we have already started door-to-door drives to provide information to residents and our health promoters are out educating residents about the benefits of vaccination,” said Mgcina.
“Vaccines are an important part of stopping the spread of Covid-19. They offer protection by reducing the risk of infection or the severity of infection and provide population immunity. The vaccination programme is a priority in the fight to minimise the spread of Covid-19 infection and vaccinations decrease the risk of death in those who are immunized.”
Mgcina paid tribute to all nurses, doctors, health workers; environmental health practitioners; community-based health workers and health promoters across the city and praised them for being at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19.
“All our health workers combined have truly been our foot soldiers in the fight against Covid-19. They have really done a remarkable job and we are truly indebted to their hard work and I salute them,” she said.
Currently, residents who are 35 years and above are eligible to vaccinate and they can do so at 53 vaccination sites across the City’s seven regions and these are open from Monday to Friday between 8am to 4pm.
There are vaccination sites operated by the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the Gauteng department of health that are also open on weekends.
Despite a decrease in the number of new daily Covid-19 cases and the percentage of the people testing positive in South Africa, there are some differences in trends at a provincial level.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) acting executive director Professor Adrian Puren said on Wednesday that while sustained decreases in case numbers have been observed in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga, the other five provinces have either increasing or sustained number of new cases.
“The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces still appear to be on the upward slope of the third wave, although the Western Cape is showing early signs of reaching the peak of their third wave. Whereas the Free State and Northern Cape provinces continue to see a steady number of new cases,” Puren said.
The NICD reported that 14 728 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 638 981. This increase represents a 22.1% positivity rate.
As per the national department of health, a further 384 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 78 377 to date.