I am concerned by a sharp decrease in immunization coverage by the Gauteng Health Department which has vaccinated only 75% of babies under one year old, instead of the 96% annual target.
This figure was revealed recently in the Department’s 3rd Quarterly Report which covers the period from April to December last year.
According to the Department, this was because of a “sudden increase in population figures nationally, and low numbers of children being brought for vaccination , and some public hospitals are still to establish the vaccination points.”
The Department has normally performed very well with vaccinations, achieving close to 100% coverage.
Their action plan includes the provision of Immunization Services Daily, monitoring of availability of constant vaccine supplies, encouraging the establishment of Vaccination Points in hospitals, and the tracing of defaulters by Community Health Workers.
I hope their efforts succeed as vaccinations are vital for children’s health.