North West Premier Bushy Maape says the province has vaccinated 38.43% of its populationagainst COVID-19  Maape has called for more people to be inoculated, to surpass the 50% mark.

The premier was speaking during the Vooma Vaccination weekend drive campaign at Taung, near Vryburg.

According to 2016 StatsSA figures, the North West has an estimated population of over 3.7 million. Currently,  around 1.7 million people have been vaccinated in the province.

The province recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24-hours. Premier Bushy Maape wants more to be done to get people to vaccinate.

“We are all at the same level, so we standing at 38% others are standing at 35%, others are standing at 32%. So we are doing very fine. 38% relatively to 40% it is not really bad.”

Maape has also been encouraged by the increasing number of young people who are getting the vaccine.

“I think many young people are coming forward to come and vaccinate. There is no more the case that they are hesitant, they are coming forward. The stats are reflecting it. I cannot give you a percentage for the youth. What I have is the overall percentage of the province.”

Although there was a low turn-out of people vaccinating during the Vooma drive, some residents, including youth, acknowledged the importance of the vaccine to protect themselves and family members against possible coronavirus infections. Some of the residents had this to say.

“Last year I realised that I lost most of my relatives because of COVID-19. So I decided if they give us an opportunity to vaccinate I will do that because I do not want to lose my family like last year.”

“I want to say to young people, who do not want to vaccinate, to vaccinate because COVID-19 killed many people.”

“I took time to decide and again my children influenced me because they said to me one day I will not be able to travel to them in Witbank because I did not vaccinate.”

Traditional leaders also emphasise the need to vaccinate. Chairperson of the North West House Of Traditional Leaders Kgosi Moshe Mabe says he wants life to go back to normal.

“It is key that we want our lives back, so that is why we need to encourage our people. We attend community meetings, funerals with them, so we are very close to them. When we speak to them they will listen and at the ultimate end the number will increase.”

The North West government plans to increase vaccination pop-up sites to ensure it reaches its set target of over 2.7 million vaccinated people by the end of December.

COVID-19 Pandemic | Addressing vaccine hesitancy ahead of Vooma Vaccination Weekend – webinar: