Latest COVID figures paint a grim picture for South Africa

Government hoped to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by the end of the year ahead of an anticipated fourth wave.

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 - The latest COVID-19 figures paint a grim picture as 384 more people have died, bringing the official death toll to 76,631.

In the past 24 hours, 13,921 new infections were recorded bringing the total number of infections since the outbreak to 2,582,427.

On the vaccine front 9,339,755 citizens had been vaccinated so far.

People who had contracted COVID-19 were urged to wait 30 days post-recovery before getting their jab.

Some people reported mild side effects like fever or headaches but experts said it was nothing to worry about.

If the side effects lasted for over three days, or returned after a month, experts urged people to report it.

Immunisation expert Hannelie Meyer said, “Make sure you seek treatment at a healthcare facility should it be necessary or if you have any doubts seek treatment.”

So far, rural provinces had vaccinated the highest percentage of the adult population against compared to the rest of the country.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the Eastern Cape had administered the highest percentage of vaccines, according to its adult population ratio, with 23% jabbed.

Limpopo was on its tail and had inoculated 20.8% of its adult population.

Phaahla said this was remarkable and lessons could be taken from these rural provinces.

Government said it was hoping to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by the end of the year ahead of an anticipated fourth wave but there seemed to be a drop in the demand for jabs in recent weeks.

The Health Department said they were struggling to get men to get their COVID vaccines.

From 1 September, the vaccination programme would be open to all adults when those in the 18 to 34 age group join the queues.

The Department said children would only get a COVID-19 vaccine when there was evidence to guarantee its safety to do so.

For now, no one under the age of 18 was allowed to get the jab but studies were underway to look at the possibilities and implications.

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