18-34 Age Group Vaccine Registrations Could Open Early

The new Health Minister, Joe Phaahla, has expressed his disappointment about the country’s vaccination slow pace and low turnout at vaccination centres. The Minister also said that vaccine registrations for the over 18 age group might open earlier than expected.


Joe Phaala, who is the new Minister of Health replacing the corruption accused Dr Zweli Mkhize, said the country’s vaccination programme is moving in a slow pace and that there are ongoing consultations to get all adults from the age of 18 to get their vaccines by the end of the week.

Phaahla says all adults should get vaccinated as soon as possible and the country’s restrictions should also stay at alert level 3.

To date, the country has vaccinated 9,387,129 people since the beginning of the vaccine rollout.

The recent promoted Phaahla says now is not the right time to lift restrictions as the country remains in the grip of third wave infections.

The Health Minister added that the turnout at vaccination centres has been reducing and it has negatively affected the vaccination progress.

Phaahla also said the money that was wrongly spent on Digital Vibes could have done more to improve the fight against the virus.

However, he said the government does have money to communicate with the public about the virus and that fake news has been a challenge in the fight against Covid-19. More can be done to improve communication relating to the diseases to educate people, the Minister said.

Phaahla encourages people to get vaccinated as the virus approach keeps changing with the unchanging behaviour of people.

The Health Minister says they are working hard to get to the people and ensure that the vaccination programme improves its reach. 

Hospitals are currently working under pressure and the priority is to minimize hospital intakes.

He also added that he understands the tiredness of people to follow the Covid-19 guidelines as humans can only take a strain up to a certain level.

The Minister is not new in the Health Department as he was previously a deputy to the resigned corruption accused, Zweli Mkhize.

Forensic investigators reported the R150m Digital Vibes scandal in detail of how funds were moved to people that previously worked with former Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize.

At least 10 companies are among those identified to have directly received funds that the Department of Health paid to Digital Vibes. The newly appointed Minister of Health says this was unfortunate and hopes for more transparency in the use of state funds.


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