SA's renewed vaccination drive hoped to combat COVID’s dreaded fourth wave

Several sites will be opened for another Vooma vaccination weekend to allow more South Africans to pull up their sleeves and get their jab.

FILE: Demonstrators hold up banners and placards during a protest against COVID-19 vaccinations in front of Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on 21 August 2021.Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - With South Africa recording more than 16,000 new coronavirus infections in the last 24-hour period, government is ramping up its vaccination drive.

Several sites will be opened for another Vooma vaccination weekend to allow more South Africans to pull up their sleeves and get their jab.

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More than 26 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered across the country so far.

25 more people have succumbed to the virus bringing total fatalities to 89,944 to date.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said those who were vaccinated could still get COVID-19 but being fully vaccinated would prevent them from getting severely ill.

Government had hoped to get 70% of the population vaccinated by January but with four weeks to go, just 37% of the eligible population has had the full dose.

Phahla said vaccination was the most reliable weapon against severe illnesses even though it was not a silver bullet.

The North West, meanwhile, is seeing an uptick in the number of people getting vaccinated, especially in the wake of the Omicron variant.

The World Health Organisation has assured scientists are in control of managing research on the Omicron variant.