Current health minister Dr Joe Phaahla said that government plans to open up Covid-19 vaccinations to all South African adults earlier than previously estimated. This means that those who are 18 and older may be eligible for inoculation as early as Friday.
Government previously announced that those between 18 and 35 years old will be able to register for vaccination from 1 September. Phaahla, however, revealed that his department is in consultation to shift the date to the end of the week.
On Monday, 16 August Phaahla was interviewed by 702 and said, “If not this week, then not later than next Monday.”
During the interview, the minister added that he would not recommend South Africa’s lockdown restrictions be eased as several provinces are battling high numbers of infections. He did, however, add that the pressure on hospitals will ease when cases fall below 10 000 per day.
Food For Mzansi journalist Duncan Masiwa chatted to young farmer Andile Ngcobo in KwaZulu-Natal, who described minister Phaahla’s recommendation to start vaccinating people between the ages of 18 and 35 sooner than planned, as great news.
Ngcobo, who looks forward to getting the jab himself, tells Food For Mzansi, “I think it’s exciting news that they [the health department] are now considering to get the youth jabbed as soon as possible.”
The farm manager of Tusokuhle Farming in Pietermaritzburg elaborates that he not only deems it to be one of the safest things to do, but firmly believes that it will curb the continuous spread of Covid-19.
Furthermore, Ngcobo appeals to people in this age category, especially the youth, to do regular medical check-ups.
“This is something that we don’t commonly do. We only go and do medical check-ups when we do have a flu or a cough.”
Ngcobo explains that getting a medical check-up is important as you never know whether you have underlying issues that could compromise your immune system when you do decide to take a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“A lot of people blame the vaccine, but the issue is not the vaccine, it’s actually underlying issues where you do not show symptoms of illness,” believes Ngcobo.