As of Wednesday, 29 September, just over a quarter of the total population of the Western Cape is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Premier Alan Winde said the provincial government plans to ramp up vaccination, especially over the first weekend of October when more than 100 vaccination sites will open.
WINDE WANTS TO RAMP UP VACCINATION
Speaking at his weekly conference on the Western Cape’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, 30 September, Winde said the province needs to ensure as many people are fully vaccinated by the start of the festive season on 1 December.
For that to come to fruition, residents need to get their first dose of vaccine by 20 October. As it stands, just over two million residents (40.27%) of the province aged 18 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I encourage you to not delay your appointment or wait for your SMS to come for your first vaccination and to get to your nearest vaccine site as soon as possible,” said Winde.
“For your second vaccination, please look out for your SMS reminder, to ensure you are within the correct period of 42 days between vaccines. Some of our first over 18 citizens, will shortly be eligible for their second vaccine.”
The Premier encouraged residents to get vaccinated over the “VOOMA weekend” on Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 October, as more than 120 vaccination sites will be open across the province. Winde said this would be a great boost as the provincial government pushes towards its vaccination targets.
In response to a question from The South African about whether the province has seen a significant uptake in vaccination during periods after the jab was initially made available to a certain age group, Western Cape Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete said there has been an “ebb and flow” in vaccination uptake with every age band.
“The same phenomenon happened in every age group – we had an initial very high uptake in registration and vaccination and then it starts tailing off for that age group,” explained Cloete.
“It’s a phenomenon that’s not unique to us, it’s a countrywide phenomenon and it’s also an international phenomenon.” Cloete said it could take twice as long to get a vaccination rate of 70 percent in comparison to how long it took to get the “vaccine eager” jabbed.
“It’s a natural phenomenon, it just becomes much harder after the initial interest to find the balance of people. It’s a combination of people not finding the time to do it, they intend to do it but not quite getting around to it, people being unsure about getting it and some people set against vaccination,” said Cloete.