South Africa hit a milestone of 10 million fully vaccinated adults on Tuesday evening, according to the Ministry of Health.
The ministry has administered 205,681 Pfizer and J&J vaccines in the past 24 hours, for a total of more than 19 million vaccinations that have now been given.
Since the emergence of Covid-19 in the country last March, SA has seen three pandemic waves, all of which have affected nine provinces.
The Sunday Times Daily reported Monday that Dr. Ridhwaan Suliman, a senior researcher at the Scientific and Industrial Research Council, said that all nine provinces have weathered the last wave of infections.
“At this stage, the indicators are encouraging. Hospital admissions are on the decline – but it’s still hard to predict how long this will take and what will happen. What we see indicates a high level of immunity in the community. It seems that some herd immunity has developed, ”he said.
So how long does it take to achieve“ herd immunity ”?
During the vaccine roll-out earlier this year, the government said it wanted to vaccinate 40 million of the adult population to achieve herd immunity.
The World Health Organization defines herd immunity or population immunity as “the indirect protection against an infectious disease that occurs when a population is either immune from vaccination or immunity obtained from previous immunity infection ”.
A vaccine calculator developed by Media Hack enables users to see how long it would take to achieve herd immunity, depending on how many vaccines a day
Assuming the department will deliver 200,000 vaccines per day, as seen in the last 24 hour cycle, SA could be 40 million target by May Achieve 2022. So not quite in time for Easter.
Vice President David Mabuza said last month that the vaccination campaign is gaining traction and that SA will achieve that goal by December.
Um . To achieve this, the department would have to vaccinate more than 500,000 people every day.
Should we strive for herd immunity at all?
The professor of vaccinology at the Wits University, Prof. Shabir Madhi, told TimesLIVE it was not possible to achieve herd immunity with Covid-19 and said the reason for the vaccination is to prevent death and serious illness.
“We have to stop talking about herd immunity because it won’t happen with Covid-19. That’s not why we vaccinate. To achieve herd immunity, around 85% of the population would need to develop immunity to infection, not serious disease, and that is extremely unlikely, ”he said.