Approximately 31% of South Africa’s adult population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The percentage of the global population that has been fully vaccinated is currently just under 60%. That’s almost double the percentage of fully vaccinated adults in South Africa. And our country’s low uptake is not because of a shortage of vaccines. In fact, Africa’s first Covid-19 vaccination plant, established by SA pharmaceutical manufacturer Aspen, may close because it hasn’t received a single order. This is despite WHO and AU appeals for the continent’s nations to place orders with local manufacturers. Putting aside the credibility of those concerns held by the ‘vaccine hesitant’, surely the country could be directing its efforts and funds towards more viable causes? Covid-19 vaccination centres seem to have become about as useful and necessary as e-Toll stores. – Nadya Swart
Crisp: Vaccine apathy means SA may have to destroy Covid-19 doses
South Africa is scaling back its Covid-19 vaccination drive and may have to destroy doses because of a lack of demand from citizens as the country heads into a fifth wave of infections.
The government has even unsuccessfully tried to donate the excess supply, reports Polity.
Take-up of the jabs has slowed to the point where keeping some sites running is unaffordable, said Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general at the Department of Health who is in charge of the programme.
Covid-19 vaccinations will need to be incorporated into South Africa’s standard medical programmes, which means these specific shots will be less accessible, he added.
“No one is arriving,” to get shots, Crisp said on Monday (9 May). “The numbers are just terrible.”
Only about half of South Africa’s 40 million adults are fully protected, about a year after doses were first made available to the public. The 18 to 39 age group is the most reluctant, Crisp said.
The country failed to meet its original target of inoculating about two-thirds of adults by the end of 2021, as well as its plan to consistently administer about 300,000 vaccines a day. In the 24 hours to Monday evening, South Africa processed just 49,285 shots.
- Best of 2021: Natural immunity vs Covid-19 vaccine-induced immunity – Marc Girardot of PANDA
- MAILBOX: Vaccination not the only way – Discovery Health
- Why NHI would be a nightmare – a rational case against universal healthcare in SA
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Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa’s rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.
Narration by Alec Hogg