The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in South Africa is extending to younger age groups, according to Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who made the announcement during a media briefing today.
Vaccine registrations for people between the ages of 35 – 49 will officially open on 15 July 2021, with the Department of Health setting 1 August as the target date to begin vaccinations within the age group.
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) July 9, 2021
“As we are opening the new age groups, we are receiving a number of requests with people asking us to prioritize a certain sector,” says Kubayi-Ngubane.
“We will continue to approach the vaccine rollout according to age sectors, but we are reviewing this. We do believe that the age process continues to be the best. It will continue to allow us to reach more South Africans,” the Acting Minister asserts.
Kubayi-Ngubane continues to say that the department is encouraged that the number of vaccinations per day has surpassed 199,000. The number of daily vaccines is expected to surpass 250,000 vaccinations per day by the end of the week.
“This is one of the milestones we have reached, but we know that many people are saying it’s not enough in comparison with the rest of the population. And despite these trials, the Inter-Ministerial Committee of Vaccines still expects us to achieve more and addressed us yesterday on how to improve and ramp up the vaccine program,” she said.
Independent Media reports that South Africa accumulated 22,910 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total cumulative number of cases in the country since COVID-19 was first discovered in the country to 2.1-million. This daily increase represents a 30.4% positivity rate.
A further 460 people have succumbed to the disease, bringing total fatalities to 63,499. The latest surge in cases is reportedly due to the COVID-19 Delta variant that has recently been rapidly spreading across the planet with many countries either enforcing or planning to enforce lockdown regulations to stop the variant’s spread.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Neutralises COVID-19 Delta Variant
Johnson & Johnson has said that its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine neutralises “the fast-spreading COVID-19 Delta variant” that is currently wreaking havoc in South Africa. The company has also said that the vaccine provides broad, durable protection against infection from the virus.
The Big Pharma power said in a statement on Thursday that recipients of its vaccine produced strong neutralising antibodies over the course of at least eight months against all known variants, including Delta, which was first catalogued in India and has since been spreading across Earth.