Warning over slowing vaccination rate in South Africa

Business for South Africa (B4SA) has raised concerns around the country’s slowing Covid-19 vaccination rate.

Martin Kingston, chair of the B4SA Steering Committee, said South Africa has sufficient vaccination supply and capacity to vaccinate more than 300,000 people a day. However, the past two weeks have seen the numbers falling well below that target.

“There are a number of factors constraining take-up: lack of trust and lack of access are just two such factors, and we also know that different sections of society trust different authority figures, and find different arguments persuasive. Solving for these, and generating demand, therefore, requires a multi-pronged approach,” Kingston said.

“We know that South African leaders and institutions widely support vaccination, but many people are unaware of this, and that an effective demand strategy must mobilise social partners – government and politicians, labour, business, faith-based organisations, traditional authorities, and civil society – to create practical partnerships at all levels.”

Kingston said that clear and public leadership is needed to set the tone for society and their respective institutions.

Every major constituency needs to see that “all of society” supports vaccination and that getting a vaccination is not only a normal, accepted practice, but an essential responsibility for the good of everyone in our country, he said.

“This past weekend’s initiative by the religious community shows what can be done, and events like the upcoming Vooma Vaccination Weekend are another tool in our arsenal.”

Approximately 1,000 private sites will be open to employees and the public on Friday, and well over 500 private sector vaccination sites will be open, in all nine provinces, across the high-risk districts identified by the Department of Health.

The Department of Health has set an ambitious target of vaccinating at least 70% – 90% of the adult population by December 2021. This amounts to between 28 million and 36 million people.

On Tuesday (28 September), the country administered 164,097 vaccines, with a total of 17.1 million receiving at least one vaccine dose to date.

1,367 new Covid-19 cases were reported, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,898,888. This increase represents an 8.6% positivity rate.

A further 201 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 87,417 to date.

Read: South Africa’s most valuable company considers compulsory Covid-19 vaccines.

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Warning over slowing vaccination rate in South Africa