People who are between 50 and 59 years old will be able to register for the Covid-19 vaccines from next week, acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced at a media briefing on Friday.
Vaccinations for those who registered in this age group are scheduled to begin in mid-July.
Those who wish to receive the vaccine must register through government’s online Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) — https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/.
The registration and rollout dates are scheduled as follows:
- Registrations open via the EVDS — 1 July.
- Vaccinations for 50–59 year-olds scheduled to begin — 15 July.
Until now, South Africa has only allowed healthcare workers and people over the age of 60 to register for vaccinations.
The government kicked off a programme to vaccinate nearly half a million education staff this week.
Kubayi-Ngubane stated that studies published this week show that there is clear evidence that vaccines provide high levels of protection to those who have been inoculated.
She added that the government was concerned about the number of people over 60 who have registered for a vaccine, which has continued to decrease.
The minister said that this was particularly problematic as this age group is most at risk and yet the majority of people have not been vaccinated.
She said that this was likely a result of high vaccine hesitancy, difficulties in accessing technology to register, and not being able to access vaccination centres.
Kubayi-Ngubane said that the government was now finalising plans to bring vaccines directly to people.
The latest figures from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) released yesterday showed that South Africa administered 115,016 vaccines in the 24 hours between 17:01 on 23 June and 17:00 on 24 June.
The total number of people who have received at least one shot is now 2,550,248.
Those who received the Pfizer vaccine still have to go for a second shot 42 days after receiving their first to get the full efficacy of the inoculation.
MediaHack’s vaccine calculator shows that the recent increase in daily vaccinations has increased South Africa’s average vaccinations per day to 20,081.
This average is calculated from the start of the Sisonke Trial on 17 February 2021.
At this rate, using the 2-shot vaccine from Pfizer, it will still take 10 years 5 months 28 days to vaccinate 40 million people — 67% of South Africa’s population.