Covid-19: Vaccines open to those aged 35 and older from August

South Africans aged 35 and older can register for their Covid-19 vaccinations next week. File photo.

SA’s vaccination programme will open up to people from 35 to 49 years old from August 1, with registrations beginning on July 15 for this age group, said the health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi on Friday morning.

People will also be able to get shots on the weekends from August 1, she said.

The health ministry met with Treasury and has secured funding to increase capacity to run the programme on weekends.

Kubayi said the rising numbers of infections in the Western Cape, Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga was extremely worrying, as these provinces seemed to be following the same trend as Gauteng.

The Delta variant is driving up new infections and deaths across SA.

Kubayi said: “We are ramping up our vaccination programme so we can reach the majority of the population so that more people are protected from this devastating virus.”

Daily vaccination numbers hit a new high of 191,000 on Thursday and are expected to surpass 250,000 a day by next week, the minister said.

“We have surpassed the four million (mark of people) receiving vaccines across the country … This is one of our milestones, though it is not enough.”

Kubayi said the provinces would be focusing on districts to make sure each municipality has an equitable share of vaccines.

Vaccines work against the Delta variant and no cases of the Lambda variant have yet been detected in SA, she said.

By Claire Keeton – TimesLIVE

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