President Cyril Ramaphosa says there is nothing stopping the country from vaccinating an additional 16 million people by the end of this year.
In order for South Africa to reach that target, at least 250 000 vaccine doses will have to be administered every working day until mid to late-December 2021.
He was speaking during the launch of the Vooma Vaccination Weekend campaign at Katlehong in Ekurhuleni on Friday.
The Vooma Vaccination Weekend campaign aims to mobilise as many citizens and people living in South Africa as possible to get vaccinated as a means to fight COVID-19, reduce the pressure on hospitals and to restart of the economy.
“Government is pulling out all stops to get people vaccinated. That's our best defence against [COVID-19]. It is doable to vaccinate 17 million people by the end of this year. Other countries have done it and we can do it as well,” he said.
The president said the campaign is supported by government, community leaders, civil society, business and other stakeholders.
“I expect [all leaders] to campaign hard throughout this weekend to get as many people as possible to vaccinate. Coronavirus has devastated our economy; many people have lost their jobs. But government has been there to support our people," he said.
The President also moved to dispel anti-vaccination notions and fake news regarding possible side- effects of the vaccines and urged people living in South Africa to get the jab.
"We should not be afraid to be vaccinated against a killer disease. The best defence against these viral diseases is vaccination. If you do not [receive the vaccine], the danger is that you could catch COVID-19, get very sick or even die. Protect yourself, protect your family and protect your friends.
"Government will never want to kill [citizens]. We want people to live and we want to people to be healthy with a view of opening up the economy because it was restricted by COVID-19,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za