Covid-19: South Africa brings forward vaccination for 18-35 year olds

The South African government on Thursday announced access to covid-19 vaccination for people between the ages of 18 and 35, with a view to accelerating immunization of the younger adult population.

The executive said in a statement that the measure aims to speed up inoculation in the country, particularly in provinces that have shown signs of a reduction in the uptake of covid-19 vaccines.

"As part of the scaling up of the vaccination program, the executive has approved the vaccination of people aged 18-35 years from August 20, 2021," reads the South African government statement.

South Africa, with more than 15.7 million tests performed on covid-19, accounts for more than 2.6 million infections and 78,377 deaths associated with the pandemic disease, according to South African health officials.

More than 7.7 million people (19.35% of the adult population) have so far been vaccinated in the country with at least one dose against covid-19, with 4.4 million people receiving the full vaccination, according to the government.

The expectation of the South African authorities was to reach 300,000 daily inoculations since last week, but the number of doses administered was around 200,000 units.

Concerns among the South African population about the side and long-term effects of the vaccines from pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer - the two drugs available in the country after Astrazeneca's refusal - are considered the main factors in the apparent stagnation of the vaccination process in the country.

In this regard, the government has brought forward by 10 days the vaccination of the group of people between the ages of 18 and 35, maintaining the level 3 containment to overcome the third wave of covid-19.

South Africa, with about 60 million people, is the second most immunized country on the continent, after Morocco, despite the fact that the vaccination process against covid-19 disease started with significant delays last July.

Lusa Agency

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