Vaccination of senior citizens gaining momentum in KZN

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, says the province continues to make significant progress with the vaccination of both senior citizens and healthcare workers who could not receive the jab during the first phase of the country's COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

During a recent media briefing on the latest developments on COVID–19, Zikalala said the province is currently vaccinating 13 000 people per day, while intensifying the vaccination of the elderly and increasing more capacity in rural areas.

“As of 18 June 2021, we had vaccinated 362 226 senior citizens, as well as 127 health workers. The total number of senior citizens who are currently registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) currently stands at 501 210,” Zikalala said.

The number of vaccination sites prepared for the Pfizer vaccine is currently 359, with 91 vaccination sites being prepared for teachers, who will be receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from 23 June to 08 July 2021.

Sustained increase in infection rate

The Premier warned that while the COVID-19 cases in the province are still fluctuating and not yet at a peak, there are worrying signs of what appears to be a sustained increase in the infection rate.

About a month ago, KwaZulu-Natal was registering an average of 130 to 150 new infections and sometimes the figure would go as low as 70 to 80 cases.

However, over the past two weeks or so, the province has been recording more than 500 new cases each day, with only few exceptions, where the number would be around 400.

He said the province crossed the resurgence line on 9 June 2021, but then dropped below the alert threshold on 10 June 2021. On 15 June 2021, it again crossed the alert line, but currently it has remained below the threshold since 16 June 2021.

“In terms of our emergency early warning systems, a 10% increase in cases over a seven day moving average will trigger an alert, while a 20% increase in cases over a seven day moving average will trigger resurgence, which may indicate that we are entering a third wave of COVID–19 infections.

“Be that as it may, there are many signs that COVID–19 is still around, and deadly as ever.”

He said KwaZulu-Natal has been extremely fortunate that the infectio numbers are still where they are. But we want to make one thing clear, the fact that our numbers are relatively low should, under no circumstances, mean that we must be complacent,” the Premier warned. –