The World Health Assembly has kicked off in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WHO says: “The theme of this year’s Health Assembly is: Health for peace, peace for health. The COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies with international reach have highlighted the leadership and coordinating role of WHO in responding to such events. Strengthening preparedness for and response to health emergencies are a key theme of the Health Assembly.”

The group advises that: “The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.”

In his opening address WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus told delegates that the world is still grappling with Covid-19. He said: “More than two years into the most severe health crisis in a century, where do we stand? More than 6 million COVID-19 deaths have been reported to WHO. But as you know, our new estimates of excess mortality are much higher – almost 15 million deaths. Reported cases have declined significantly from the peak of the Omicron wave in January of this year. And reported deaths are at their lowest since March 2020. In many countries, all restrictions have been lifted, and life looks much like it did before the pandemic. So is it over? No, it’s most certainly not over.

Ghebreyesus added: “Only 57 countries have vaccinated 70% of their population – almost all of them high-income countries. We must continue to support all countries to reach 70% vaccination coverage as soon as possible, including 100% of those aged over 60; 100% of health workers; and 100% of those with underlying conditions.”

The World Health Assembly ends on 28 May 2022.

Covid-19 vaccine booster shots are now available to eligible persons.

The announcement was made recently that both Johnson & Johnson AND Pfizer booster shots are now available.

The national Health Department recently announced that persons who have received the Pfizer vaccination can report for a third booster dose, six months after their second dose.

Those who have received one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, are eligible for a second dose two months after their first.

Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross says: “Persons who have already received a vaccination can report to their nearest vaccination site for their booster dose. There is no need for re-registration. Just bring along your identity document and the vaccination card you received during your first vaccination. And please encourage relatives and friends to do the same, if they are eligible at this time to receive a booster shot.”

She adds: “More importantly, this is also a renewed call to unvaccinated persons to get in line for their vaccination. If nothing else, this fourth wave has proven the efficacy of vaccines in minimising the risk of severe illness. It is important to safeguard yourself and your loved ones, and vaccination is the best protection we have.”

The public is reminded that they have to wait 30 days from having had Covid-19 before they can be vaccinated, or receive a booster shot.

Below is a list of City vaccination sites and their operating hours for the last few days of 2021.

  • Tafelsig Thusong Centre Open until 12h00 on the 31st (Cnr Kilimanjaro and Pyrenees Streets, Tafelsig)
  • Crossroads 1 Clinic Open on the 29th (Klipfontein Road, Crossroads)
  • Phumlani Clinic Open until 12h00 on the 31st (Cnr Stock & Mgqwani Road, Phillipi East)
  • Rocklands Clinic Open on the 30th (Cnr Lancaster & Park Avenue, Rocklands)
  • Adriaanse Clinic Open 28 to 30 Dec; closed the 31st (40th Avenue, Clarke Estate)
  • St.Vincent CDC Open 28 to 30 Dec; closed the 31st (St.Vincent Drive, Belhar)
  • Langa Hall (Johnson Ngweval Hall) Open 28 to 30 Dec; closed the 31st (King Langalibalele Street , Langa)
  • Wallacedene Clinic Open 29 Dec; closed the 31st (Cnr. La Boheme & Pietersen Street Wallacedene)
  • Brackenfell Community Hall Open until 12h00 on the 31st (off Paradys Street, Brackenfell)
  • Ikhwezi CDC Open until 12h00 on the 31st (Simon Street, Strand)
  • Sarepta Clinic Open until 12h00 on the 31st (Rietvlei Road, Sarepta, Kuils River)
  • Eerste River Multipurpose Centre Open until 12h00 on the 31st (Bob’s Way, Eerste River)
  • Solomon Mahlangu Hall Open until 12h00 on the 31st (Walter Sisulu Road, Khayelitsha)
  • Tafelsig Thusong Centre Open until 12h00 on the 31st (Cnr Kilimanjaro and Pyrenees Streets, Tafelsig)

After the new year’s weekend, vaccination sites will be operating as normal between 08:00 and 16:00, Monday to Friday.

The Western Cape Department of Health says the province is now officially on the brink of its third Covid-19 wave.

This third wave is set to hit the province in the next week or two.

Western Cape Head of Health, Dr. Keith Cloete said the province’s Covid-19 related hospitalizations, oxygen-use and positive test-rate has increased significantly, over the past 4 weeks.

Cloete says the province is now in a new phase of Covid-19 resurgence.

Get daily updates on Premier Alan Winde‘s Twitter-page.

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