Cabinet says it is pleased that phase two of the vaccine rollout programme commenced smoothly, as thousands of eligible people have already been vaccinated.
“All vaccination sites across South Africa are ready to assist those who have been allocated a vaccination slot,” said Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.
The Minister was briefing media on Thursday on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.
Ntshavheni reminded everyone visiting vaccination sites to adhere to the strict health protocols of wearing a mask, sanitising and social distancing to protect themselves and others.
As the country edges closer to achieving Universal Health Coverage, Cabinet said it was encouraged that over two million people have already registered on the COVID-19 Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
To ensure that no one is left behind, a number of platforms are available for people to register.
The Executive called on all those who are aged 60 and older to register on the EVDS.
“Family members and friends of persons who are 60 years and older are urged to encourage and help them to register,” said Ntshavheni.
She said the public can use WhatsApp to sign up to receive the vaccine by sending ‘Register’ to 0600 123 456 or through SMS by dialling *134*832*ID number#.
“This service is free on all South African mobile networks,” she said, adding that people can also register by calling the toll-free hotline on 0800 029 999.
Cabinet further reminded all South Africans of the imminent third wave and reiterated the importance of preventing the transmission of COVID-19 by adhering to the non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, announced on Wednesday that the number of those vaccinated under phase two stands at 282 135, which brings the total to 761 903 when combined with those who received the Johnson & Johnson jab.
The Executive said it also discussed the Paris Summit on the Financing of African Economies held in Paris, France, on 18 May 2021.
According to Ntshavheni, Cabinet supports the call by leaders that African States should have access to special drawing rights of at least US$100 billion in International Monetary Fund’s reserve funds.
“The allocation will boost the prospects for a strong and sustainable economic recovery among African nations hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide liquidity to the global financial system,” Ntshavheni explained.
She said the summit affirmed the view that access to vaccines must be expanded to all countries, particularly those in Africa and all developing countries, and must be treated as a global public good.
Cabinet believes the move will accelerate equitable access in Africa to safe and affordable vaccines, treatments and diagnostics through the World Health Organisation’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and its COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.
Ntshavheni reiterated that all should support President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for the temporary waiver of the World Trade Organisation Trips Regulations.
“Such an intervention will ensure the expanded production of vaccines and other health technologies as part of an appropriate response to the pandemic emergency.”