How our department compares to the province – let’s talk vaccination coverage
The risk of being hospitalised or dying from COVID-19 is real – our data has shown this throughout the pandemic. If you are 50 years and older, you are at higher risk. People over the age of 50 are at increased risk of COVID-19. This risk becomes worse when combined with underlying illnesses (such as kidney disease, diabetes, and hypertension). A fully vaccinated person is 4.3 times less likely to die of COVID-19 than an unvaccinated person.
Our teams have adjusted their approach and weekly pop-up sites are now a regular feature at grocery stores, shopping malls, SASSA pay points and many more – taking vaccination to the people. This enables our citizens, especially those over 50 years of age to have easy access to vaccination, and by doing so are protected against a possible fourth wave.
Being fully vaccinated provides great protection. In the Western Cape, 2 339 316 people have already been vaccinated of which 1 880 633 people of all ages are fully vaccinated. In our high-risk age bands who are fully vaccinated we have reached 51.69% (353 614 ) of the 50–59-year-olds and 62.03% (455 105 ) in those over 60 years.*
Within the department, we have been able to provide protection to the high-risk group. 80.23% of staff over the age of 50 years have been vaccinated and this group makes up 26.85% of total vaccinated staff. The persal group with the most vaccinated staff members is medical at 91% while the lowest uptake is among admin at 64%.
“While we are heartened that 76.37% of our staff have been vaccinated, just over 8000 staff members remain unprotected against severe illness and death related to COVID-19. I strongly urge each one of the 8000 unvaccinated staff members to approach anyone of our medical specialists to discuss any concerns you may have about the vaccine. Ideally, we want every staff member to be vaccinated. Many of our community members view us as role-models for take up of any evidence-based pharmaceutical intervention, and taking up the offer to vaccinate is no different. Moreover, full staff vaccination coverage will significantly decrease the risk for hospitalisation and death, which will put is in a better position than we were in previous waves,” says HOD, Dr Keith Cloete.
With the expansion of access to vaccines, the provision of the Boost Study (2nd JnJ dose) through Sisonke coming soon, as well as information about the vaccines being consistenly shared and made available on our official channels, the Department remains committed to enabling the safeguarding of all healthcare workers through vaccination.
Let’s save our summer
The Department urges all citizens, including staff, not to delay taking the first vaccination to ensure they have enough time between doses to complete their vaccination by December. If we are able to vaccinate 70% (or more) of our adult population by December, we will have a much safer summer. Vaccines are the best way of saving ourselves from illness, death and ongoing disruptions of our lives and work.
To Save Your Summer please do the following:
1. Go for vaccination as a matter of urgency
2. Continue to wear a mask (even when vaccinated)
3. Ensure open windows, fresh air and good ventilation (even when vaccinated)
4. When you have symptoms, stay home
**Stats correct as of Tuesday, 2nd November 2021.