Oct 18, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Only half of over-60s have registered for Covid-19 vaccine, says rollout head

Only half of over-60s have registered for a Covid-19 vaccination, says the man in charge of the nationwide vaccine rollout.

Dr Nicholas Crisp said officials had been surprised to find that registrations on the electronic vaccination system were “by far” highest in rural areas.

“It is dramatically best in Limpopo, where 75% of the 60-plus population has registered,” Crisp told a media briefing led by acting health minister Mmalokolo Kubayi-Ngubane.

To tackle the slow rate of registration in urban areas, where the average rate is 35%, Crisp said five new languages were being added to the registration system and a campaign to target over-60s at pension pay points would be intensified.

The average number of vaccinations was 85,000 per day by the beginning of this week, “and that will now increase as we have a lot of vaccine that has arrived in the last couple of days, and we no longer have a resource-constrained environment”, said Crisp.

More than a third of people in Gauteng (35%) who have Covid-19 tests are getting positive results, health department deputy director-general Anban Pillay told the briefing.

Nationwide, the test positivity rate is running at 25%, and Pillay said significant numbers of new Covid-19 cases were expected in all provinces in the next two weeks.

The Western Cape, North West and the Eastern Cape are forecast to suffer most, and the Free State the least.

Pillay said the huge pressure on hospital beds in Gauteng, caused by a rampant third wave in the province, was also likely to be seen in other regions.