The Minister of Health, Dr Joseph Phala said that he hopes the country can reach herd immunity by the end of 2021. Phala hopes that between 60% and 70% of South Africa’s adult population will be vaccinated by the end of the year as this would help open the economy and other social activities.
Herd immunity is when a large portion of the population is protected against the virus. The South African Health Products Regulatory Body (Sahpra) says that by receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, individuals are at a lower risk of developing serious Covid-19 symptoms and are less likely to require hospitalisation if they do become infected with the virus.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of America announced their full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. The FDA said “the vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 and potentially serious outcomes including hospitalization and death”,
South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout program has ramped up over the last three months as more than 10 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered. Last week the Department of Health announced that people between the ages of 18 and 34 would be eligible to receive that vaccines.
Just yesterday, 268 712 received a jab of the vaccine, of which 64 274 were the single-dose Johnson and Johnson Vaccine while 204 438 people received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. For more information on the daily progress of SA’s vaccine rollout, click here.
South Africa will have to maintain its current momentum if the goal of herd immunty is to be reached by the end of 2021.