South Africa to open up vaccines to people under 60: premier

Gauteng premier David Makhura says that government will begin opening up Covid-19 vaccine registrations to people under 60.

Speaking in a provincial budgetary address, Makhura said that from next week the government will start with the registration and vaccination of 50-59-year-olds.

This registration process will then be opened up to people in their forties, he said. Makhura also confirmed that vaccinations will be opened to law enforcement officials from 1 July.

South Africa has previously only allowed healthcare workers and people over the age of 60 to register for vaccinations. The government began its plan to vaccinate nearly half a million education staff this week.

Western Cape premier Alan Winde has said that the opening up of vaccines to other age groups is vital to ensure that the country’s vaccine efforts do not stall.

“There is no reason why this shouldn’t happen already, while vaccinations of those over 60 continue,” he said.

“I am worried we are leaving registration to the last minute, and we should rather be getting as many people registered now so that we can have a seamless change to the next phase – without any delays.”

Winde said he will continue to make these arguments in his engagement with the national government. “We must ensure we are ready for the next phase as soon as possible.”

“In the meantime, I urge all residents over the age of 60 to please register for their vaccine. We have now exceeded 50% of all eligible residents in this age group, but we need to get close to 70% if we are to get herd immunity in the future.”

Read: This tool shows the most vulnerable Covid-19 hotspots in South Africa right now

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South Africa to open up vaccines to people under 60: premier