Makhura worried about slow pace of COVID inoculations amongst Gauteng's elderly

The Gauteng Health Department had targeted 1.3 million pensioners but only about 700,000 have been inoculated.

FILE: An elderly woman receives her COVID-19 vaccine jab with the start of the second phase of South Africa's vaccine rollout on 17 May 2021. Picture: @GautengHealth/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura said that concerns remained over the slow pace of inoculations of the elderly in the province.

The premier visited several vaccine sites across Tshwane on Thursday to encourage residents to receive their jabs.

So far, Gauteng has administered more than 2.2 million vaccines.

With an average of 53,000 vaccines administered per day, the province is aiming to double its vaccination numbers to 100,000 per day.

In order to reach its target, Premier Makhura has allocated vaccines to different economic sectors, including farms workers, taxi drivers and miners.

The province has also opened its first drive-thru vaccine site in Tshwane, at the Zwartkops Raceway in Centurion.

However, Makhura said that despite the increase of accessibility, he was concerned over the inadequate vaccination of the elderly population.

"For those who took their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, we'd like them to return for the second dose. But we are extremely worried about the older people in our communities who have not even come for their first dose," Makhura said.

The department had targeted 1.3 million pensioners but only about 700,000 have been inoculated.

Furthermore, those between the ages of 50 and 59 were also not participating in the programme, with only half a million having received their COVID-19 jabs.

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