Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla says he is concerned about the decline in the number of Covid-19 vaccinations that are now, on a daily basis, being administered across the country.

Phaahla says during the height of the country’s vaccination campaign up to 300,000 injections were being administered on a daily basis.

The figure has now dropped to below 100,000 per day.

The Minister says it is especially young people who do not register for and go for their injections.

Access the full briefing here.

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Health officials say there has been a notable increase in Covid-19 cases in children.

This data was presented in a Department of Health briefing on Friday, 03 December. The country is on the brink of a fourth wave of infections after the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Public Health Specialist at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD),  Dr Wassila Jassat presented this data. Jassat says that an emerging trend right now is the increase in hospitalisations of children under 5.

At the same time, it’s unlikely that children 5 years old and younger will receive the Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa anytime soon.

Acting Director-General for the Department of Health, Dr. Nicholas Crisp said that there has been no application from pharmaceutical companies to administer a Covid-19 vaccine to children under 12-years-old. Teenagers in South Africa currently receive one injection of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as approved by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority.

Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla also announced that there had been a steep rise of cases in the last seven days with the country recording over 11 000 new cases on Thursday 02 December 2021

“It is much steeper than all the other curves we have seen in the last three waves,” said Phaahla. “We can manage this fourth wave. We can manage Omicron. We can in the next manage in a way where government doesn’t have to invoke serious restrictions in the next few days,” said the minister.

And, the majority of new cases on Thursday were recorded in Gauteng, which accounted for 72%, followed by the Western Cape with 6%. KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 5% of new infections; Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West 4% each; and the Free State and the Eastern Cape 2% each. The Northern Cape accounted for 1% of new cases.

At the same time, Gauteng had recorded 8 280 new cases on Thursday, the Western Cape 727 and KwaZulu-Natal 630.

 

Health Minister, Dr. Joe Phaahla says disease-experts have warned that the country can expect the fourth wave of Covid-19, at the earliest, by the middle of December.

During an interview with ENCA, on Sunday, he again urged at-risk South Africans to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible.

He says the country’s constantly increasing vaccination-rate, currently at more than 40% of the adult population, may help mitigate the severity of the fourth wave.

Follow the Department of Health’s latest Covid-19 updates here.

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Health Minister, Joe Phaahla says only healthcare workers, at this point in time, qualify for and will receive a booster shot of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Minister was speaking to ENCA on Sunday and said the roll-out of these booster shots is progressing well.

He says close to 82,000 healthcare workers had already received a follow-up dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as part of phase 2 of the Sisonke study.

Follow the Health Department’s latest Covid-19 updates here.

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The Department of Health says the country has now almost reached the halfway-mark of its goal of vaccinating at least 70% of adults against Covid-19.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla says more than 18,7-million doses of vaccine had now been administered in South Africa.

More than 13-million, or 33.4%-percent of adults that had now been vaccinated.

He says vaccination-rates among the country’s older-residents are increasing.

Access the Minister’s full briefing here.

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