South Africa COVID-19 vaccine rollout expanding to 49 to 35 age group: What to know

South Africa vaccine rollout plan age groups third wave pandemic COVID-19

The Department of Health has announced the South Africa COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan will soon cover the 49 to 35 age group and include weekend appointments.

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced the news at a media briefing on 9 July.

This comes as the department aims to expand the vaccine rollout in the face of the third wave of the pandemic.

“We do believe the age process continues to be the best…and [will have] less logistics and less administrative processes that could assist us to reach most South Africans,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

“So as we open for more ages, please South Africans, this is your opportunity, take it up.”

What to now about the latest vaccine rollout phase in South Africa

The vaccine rollout will now include people aged 35 to 49.

Vaccinations for the new age group will start on 1 August. Registrations for the group will open on 15 July.

People in the assigned age groups can register for the vaccine on the EVDS website.

While certain sectors have received vaccination approval, there are currently no plans to prioritise specific groups for vaccinations beyond general age groups.

“We are receiving a number of requests where people are saying to us ‘Prioritise this sector’,” Kubayi-Ngubane explained.

“We have presented to the IMC (Inter-Ministerial Committee) the constraints, and what we see as a danger, and the difficulties we will hit on when we go ahead.”

The department hopes to surpass 250 000 vaccinations nationally by next week.

Meanwhile, the department aims to implement weekend vaccinations from 1 August.

This comes as the department secured financing from the National Treasury to allow for weekend vaccinations.

“We believe this will increase the capacity and increase the work that needs to be done as well in vaccinating,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

On 8 July, South Africa recorded 22 910 new COVID-19 cases. This brings the total number of recorded cases to 2 135 246.

The number of active cases is 208 847, while the death toll is 63 499.

Gauteng continues to be the epicenter of the current wave of the pandemic, but there is concern as cases increase in other provinces with the Delta variant spreading.

Featured image: Unsplash/Mufid Majnun

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