Gauteng vaccinations need to be boosted

A concerted boost is needed to push up lagging Covid-19 vaccinations in Gauteng, including one million people who have not returned for their second jab.

Only 23.29% of Gauteng adults are fully vaccinated, the second lowest in the country, compared to 34.44% in Limpopo and 32.23% in the Western Cape.

In South Africa as a whole 27.17% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Gauteng needs to do more than 100 000 vaccinations a day to reach the target of 70% vaccinated by December, but daily vaccinations have fallen below 60 000.

About four million people have registered in Gauteng on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), but only 3 683 712 have received their first dose, and 2 668 617 are fully vaccinated.

I am concerned that less than 60% of the most vulnerable people over 60 years older have been vaccinated in Gauteng.

Anti-vaccine sentiment is probably less of a factor than transport and access issues for the elderly.

Although children between the ages of 12 and 17 are now eligible for the vaccine, the focus should still be on older people who are much more vulnerable to severe illness and death from the virus.

Better outreach efforts are needed to reach the elderly with vaccinations, including transport arrangements or visiting them where they live.

This will help to flatten the expected fourth wave of infections in December and ease the strain on our hospitals.