The queue for South Africans over the age of 60 to get the Covid-19 vaccine remains at “one million long” as people over 50 can now register to get vaccinated from July.
Cape Town – Over one million South Africans aged 60 and older – that registered for the Covid-19 vaccine – have not been vaccinated, deputy director-general of the Health Department Dr Nicholas Crisp said on Friday.
Crisp said 3.75 million people over the age of 60 have registered, but, only 2.5 million have received their vaccination.
“That means that the queue for the elderly, people is still one million long. That is partly a challenge because there are not many sites in all the areas where these people reside and it’s very hard to get to them until we open more sites,” he said.
Earlier, at the same briefing, acting Health Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, announced that people above the age of 50 would be able to receive their Covid-19 vaccines from July 15.
Crisp said that the department was opening several vaccine sites across the country to increase the number of people vaccinated.
“Now that we are able to open a large number of sites, we should be able to quickly reach the remaining people, but at the same time sustain the current sites to accommodate the over 50s who are being brought into the vaccination schedule.”
Crisp said that only half of the targeted population in the over 60s group have registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) to receive their shot.
“The registration of people on the EVDS system has been by far better in rural areas than in urban areas,” he said.
Crisp said the system worked the best in Limpopo, where 75 percent of the population over 60 have registered, compared to the 35 percent in urban areas.
“This is a bit counter-intuitive because we would have expected that populations who have greater access to digital technology and bandwidth would have registered more easily,” he said.
“And we would have also thought that since we know there is greater English literacy in the urban areas that there would have been great registration in those areas.”
Meanwhile, the education sector rollout has seen more than a 105 000 people vaccinated across seven provinces in the last two days.
KwaZulu-Natal has vaccinated 32.1 percent of its target population.