Health MEC accompanies her own 15 year-old daughter to get COVID-19 jab; Urges other parents to do the same and help province reach population immunity target; Concern over 35-29 vaccination numbers

30 October 2021

KWAZULU-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane has accompanied her own 15 year-old daughter to get vaccinated, as the Province intensifies efforts to boost vaccination numbers, particularly within the 12 - 17 and 35 - 49 age groups.

Speaking from a vaccination site at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg earlier today, the MEC said since both her daughters had now got the jab (the other one is 20 years old, and also recently got her own jab), she was pleased to now have full license to urge other parents to get their offspring vaccinated.

"My daughter is actually the one who asked to come and get vaccinated. I must say I was very excited because it tells me that she has a sense of responsibility.

"However, we are also requesting all the other parents to make sure that they bring their children to get vaccinated. It is important that everyone from the age of 12 gets vaccinated. We have been advised by scientists that children within the 12 - 17 age group don't have to be vaccinated twice with Pfizer, because they're young and their immune system is strong.

"It is important that we bring them forward because it protects their families and other learners that they go to school with. Remember that in the past few months, we've had to close schools because of the number of infections we've had. That is why we're making this call."

The MEC was happy to find the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds a hive of activity, with many parents having brought their own children, while others also used the opportunity to get their own jabs.

"This for me is an indication that parents are beginning to take responsibility for the safety of their children, and their own families. This is a busy site, but it's very quick. You’re done within 20 minutes."

She did, however, express her disquiet about the apparent vaccine hesitancy among the 35 - 49 age group.

A total of 14 755 people have died due to COVID-19 in KwaZulu-Natal since the start of the pandemic, while 59 new cases were reported during the latest 24 hour reporting period. In the preceding 24 hours, the Province had registered 93 new cases

With a target to vaccinate 7,2 million people before the end of the year, KwaZulu-Natal has so far vaccinated 3, 231 million people at its 410 sites. From the overall target, the Province is aiming to vaccinate 2, 226 million youngsters between the ages of 12 and 17; and 3, 052 million people between 35 and 49 years of age - in addition to the other population groups.

Since the 12 - 17 age group became eligible to get vaccinated on 20 October 2021, 8 578 have been vaccinated out of the 23 351 who have so far registered.

From the 35 - 49 age group, 446 534 have been vaccinated out of the 713 477 who have registered.

"The fact that people from the 35 - 49 age group are not coming out in numbers is a serious worry because they're one of the largest population groups in the Province. So, if they don't get vaccinated it means we're not going to achieve population immunity before the end of December. That might affect us adversely, come the Fourth Wave. And yet, we might look back and see that had we all been vaccinated, it might not have affected us that much. We're making a call for everyone to come and get vaccinated because once you get vaccinated, it means we'll gradually go back to our lives. It means we'll be able to attend live sporting matches and get back to our normal lives as we used to know them.

"But, for as long as people are not vaccinating, the country will not be able to open up fully."

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This page last edited on 02 November, 2021

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