Kubayi expecting SA's COVID vaccine programme to gain momentum in coming days

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said that in meetings with manufacturers, government had stressed the need to stick to agreed timeframes for vaccine delivery to make its target of administering 300,000 jabs daily.

People wait for their vaccine jabs at the Rabasotho Community Centre vaccination site in Tembisa on 29 July 2021. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said that government's COVID-19 immunisation drive was set to gain momentum in the coming days.

The vaccination programme has slowed down this past week due to limited stocks being available - some sites ran out of jabs and people had to be turned away.

Kubayi and a team of health experts gave an update on Friday morning on government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 7.2 million vaccine shots have been administered in the country.

Kubayi said that in meetings with manufacturers, government had stressed the need to stick to agreed timeframes for vaccine delivery to make its target of administering 300,000 jabs daily.

"With expected vaccine batches from Pfizer and J&J in the coming days, we're expecting that the vaccination programme will pick up momentum such that we will be able to reach at least 300,000 and some of the colleagues including in the provinces are saying that we should be able to reach around 400,000 vaccinations per day."

The first consignment of US-sponsored Pfizer jabs, via the World Health Organization's COVAX facility, is set to arrive in the country in the coming days.

WATCH: Vaccine update: Kubayi reiterates that COVID vaccinations remain voluntary

Pharmaceutical company, Aspen Pharmacare, has also announced that the first batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccine shots from its Gqeberha manufacturing plant has been released for use in South Africa.

Acting Minister Kubayi also sounded warnings around COVID-19 infections in the Western Cape, saying that they were keeping a very close eye on the situation.

The province has recorded the highest number of new cases in the past 24 hours, accounting for 29% of new cases in South Africa.

"We are, however, concerned about the rise of numbers in the Western Cape which have now surpassed Gauteng in the number of new cases in the last 24 hours. If you recall, Gauteng has been the epicentre of the third wave," the minister said.

WATCH: COVID-19 update: Western Cape infections on the rise

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