The City of Johannesburg is considering additional incentives to get more people vaccinated against Covid-19.
Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo told radio station Jacaranda that the city was particularly concerned about the low number of men that have been vaccinated to date.
“It’s something that we were discussing with the (Gauteng) premier earlier that, what are the incentives what are the things we can do?
“One doctor was saying maybe have a competition, get the automotive sector to donate a car. Those are some of the creative things that can be done,” said Matongo.
Matongo said that the city was also looking at using social media influencers to encourage people to vaccinate.
“There can be a hashtag, and thousands of people can say something about it. But are we getting the social influencers to send the right messages of the vaccination programme and the need for us to vaccinate?”
Addressing media on Tuesday (17 August), Gauteng premier David Makhura echoed concerns about the low number of people opting to be vaccinated.
While the province has now passed 2.3 million vaccinations, Makhura said that authorities were ‘not happy’ about this number relative to the size of the province’s adult population.
He said that the south of Johannesburg was a particular cause of concern, with the provincial government also actively tracking other areas that have reported low vaccination rates.
— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) August 17, 2021
South Africa has, to date, administered 9,557,542 jabs, with 158,103 of those on Monday.
The total number of Pfizer administered in the last 24 hours was 122,056, and a total of 36,047 Johnson & Johnson were administered.
Meanwhile, South Africa recorded 7,983 new Covid -19 cases bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 613 569.
This increase represents a 21.1% positivity rate.
“As per the national department of health, a further 299 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 77 440 to date,” the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.
Most new cases are from the Western Cape (27%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (24%).
“The total number of cases today (7,983) is lower than yesterday (10,139) and lower than the average number of new cases per day over the seven preceding days (10 490). The seven-day moving average daily number of cases has increased,” the NICD said.
There has been an increase of 331 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours. A total of 15,633,622 tests have been conducted in both the public and private sectors.
Opening of vaccines
South Africa is likely to see a rapid increase in vaccination numbers in the coming weeks as it opens up vaccines to all adults.
Health minister Dr Joe Phaahla said that the government plans to open Covid-19 vaccines to all adults in South Africa weeks earlier than expected.
The country is officially set to open vaccinations to people between 18-35 from 1 September. However, Phaahla said his department is in consultations to move this date up to the end of this week – 20 August.
“We are in further consultations with our leadership in cabinet, (and) we will probably before the end of this week open for all adults above 18,” he told 702. “If not this week, then not later than next Monday (23 August) for all adults.”