Govt seeking to jab 17m more citizens to reach SA's COVID vaccination target

The National Health Department said that 19.5% of the country's adult population had so far been fully vaccinated.

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

CAPE TOWN - Around 17 million more South Africans must be immunised against COVID-19 for government to make its end-of-year vaccination target.

The National Health Department said that 19.5% of the country's adult population had so far been fully vaccinated.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla also on Friday reiterated that vaccine certificates or passports were not aimed at punishing the unvaccinated.

South Africa is still chasing the elusive target of 300,000 COVID-19 jabs per day.

"All that we have to do as citizens is just walk. These days, you don't even have to drive because the pop-ups are coming to the taxi ranks and everywhere. Please encourage your neighbour to walk to the nearest vaccination centre."

Minister Phaahla said that the focus now was on the high-risk population, but in the months to come children would also get a chance to line up for a coronavirus vaccine.

"Keep on pushing for the older people to be vaccinated. Once we have made good progress, we're now approaching 30%, we're hoping that by the end of October we'll be closer to 50% and when we reach that, we might be in a better position where we can say: 'Can we now consider the children under the age of 18?'"

Ahead of the voter registration weekend, health officials have urged political parties to honour COVID-19 safety measures while out vying for votes.

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