South Africans aged 35 – 49 yrs to be vaccinated from 1 August

South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is expected to gain momentum, with those aged between 35 and 49 years, set to be vaccinated.

While registrations will begin on 15 July, government will begin inoculating this group on 1 August.

This was on Friday revealed by Acting Health Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, during a media briefing. The briefing was held amid a sustained rise in infections, hospitalisations and related deaths in the past seven days.

Healthcare workers were the first to be vaccinated in March under the Johnson & Johnson Sisonke programme.

A month later, government began administering vaccines in the over 60 population.

Two weeks ago, over 500 000 basic education workers began receiving their doses.

Last week, the programme began focusing on those aged 50 and above. Personnel in the security sector have also started  to be vaccinated.

In the last 24 hours, the country recorded 22 910 new cases, representing a 34.4% positivity rate. Of these, 11 747 were in Gauteng.

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Last week, the programme received a shot in the arm when the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) granted approval for the use of the Sinovac vaccine.

Sinovac is in addition to the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines already utilised in the country.

As of Thursday, South Africa was surpassing 191 000 vaccinations a day.

Overall, the country has to date vaccinated four million people – partially or fully.

This week, the Department of Health held a bilateral meeting with National Treasury to discuss the funding of the vaccination programme.

Vaccinations will start over weekends from 1 August as funding is made available.

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