Health Dept confident of reaching 300,000 jabs per day

While vaccine supplies outstripped demand last week, an increase of millions of vials have entered the pipeline.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The National Health Department on Monday said it should be able to reach its vaccination target of 300,000 daily inoculations in the coming days.

While vaccine supplies outstripped demand last week, an increase of millions of vials have entered the pipeline.

Additional Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses are making their way to the nation's 3,000 sites this week.

The department's Dr Nicholas Crisp said, “All of our provincial colleagues have indicated to us that we need more capacity to administer vaccines. By the end of next week, I don’t see why we shouldn’t have expanded our vaccination sites.”

While the delta variant has largely driven infections in the nation while the lambda variant, which is said to be more dangerous, has wreaked havoc in Peru and dozens of other countries across the world.

“We may not see the lambda variant; we may see a different variant. And that’s the problem with this particular virus; it does mutate. There may be other variants that will come. We are at constant alert for the lambda variant and other variants and anything else that may come,” Crisp said.

Authorities are monitoring the situation closely.

“We have a large group of scientists in the country who are watching the genetic makeup of the viruses that are circulating and we do get a heads up on the prevalence of these particular variants,” Crisp added.

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