Pessimism hampers South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination drive
South Africa’s fight against COVID-19 is facing the challenge of vaccine pessimism as people continue shunning the vital jabs despite their availability.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla said many unvaccinated people refrained from getting inoculated because they feel the pandemic has been defeated.
“The vaccination program is able to administer 250,000 vaccinations a day and all measures are in place to sustain this capability. There are at least 25 million doses of vaccine in the country,” local News24 publication quotes Phaahla.
“The challenge is convincing people to vaccinate, which is more difficult now because many believe that the pandemic is over purely because the impact of the fourth (Omicron) wave was less severe,” he added.
South Africa is the hardest hit country by the pandemic in Africa, having reported 3,694,504 COVID-19 infections with 99,725 deaths.
The cases account for more than a third of the continent’s reported virus infections, while the deaths represent nearly 40 percent of Africa’s virus-related fatalities.
South Africa’s vaccination has largely been complemented by other containment measures, including bans on public gatherings, lockdowns and mandatory wearing of face masks.
As the country caseload continues to drop however, these measures have been toned down.
Phaahla noted that the country is targeting learners across institutions, as well as other youth groups to boost vaccination numbers.
So far, South Africa has administered 32,548,342 doses of vaccines. – CGTN