Phase 2 vaccine rollout a first step to a post-COVID country, says Lesufi

As the first day of phase two of the government’s national vaccine rollout plan draws to an end, focus is now turning to plans to bolster the vaccination drive.

FILE: The elderly are guided through the admin process ahead of vaccination at a Krugersdorp old age home on 17 May 2021. Picture: Zweli Mkhize/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - As the first day of phase two of the government’s national vaccine rollout plan draws to an end, focus is now turning to plans to bolster the vaccination drive.

Just under 4,200 citizens were expected to receive a single dose of the Pfizer jab on Monday, which included citizens aged 60 and above, while thousands of healthcare workers were given theirs.

The goverment is aiming to vaccinate five million people over the age of 60 by the end of next month.

There’s no denying the province's capacity to roll out phase 2 of the vaccines will be tested in the coming weeks, with less than a quarter of the elderly in the province registered for the rollout.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who visited the Elphin Lodge in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, said that this is the first step in conquering the pandemic.

"Finally, we can touch the post-COVID Gauteng, we can smell a post-COVID country where everyone will be vaccinated. It's a first step to bridge that state where we can say we have defeated this."

Lesufi said that with Gauteng seeing a surge in infections, the vulnerable must be prioritised.

"Any government that can't protect the weak and the vulnerable doesn't deserve to be called a government and I'm happy that we started with them and I know there are insult those that are healthy and young are saying 'we want this now' but just imagine if we opened to everyone, they'll be pushed, they'll be crushed, so the state has taken a conscious decision to be people-centred and to defend the weak and the vulnerable."

More deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine are expected in the country on Monday night, raising the number to over 975,000 doses.

WATCH: Phase 2 of SA’s vaccine rollout finally under way

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