The Health Minister, Joe Phaahla, says the country is experiencing its most stable supply of COVID-19 vaccines. Phaahla and other senior officials from the department have appeared before Parliament’s Health Portfolio Committee to provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine acquisition and roll-out programme.
So far, 11 million doses of vaccines have been administered. Phaahla says the considerable increase in the uptake of vaccinations in the past week could be attributed to people aged between 18 to 34 getting vaccinated.
More people are registering to get vaccinated :
He says the figures look promising.
“I did indicate (that we were) hoping in the next few days to pass the 11 million doses administered. I have just been told that we have passed that now. And what is also encouraging is that uptake is again, steadily rising, we administered 247 000 and a little over that, now we are at 267 000.”
Phaahla, says if 1.2 million people can be vaccinated per week, the country would be able to reach the goal of vaccinating up to 70% of the adult population by the end of the year.
Currently, the department has vaccinated 8 million individuals. Phaahla elaborates on what would be required to have more of the adult population vaccinated.
“If we could reach 1.2 million per week, we could cover close to 70% by mid-December. If everything remains equal, we could increase capacity to something like 1. 2 in seven days.”
Deputy Director-General’s employment status
Phaahla, says his Deputy Director-General, Anban Pillay, is still an employee of the department. One of the committee members wanted to know whether Pillay is still employed in the department in light of allegations of his involvement in corruption relating to the multi-million rand Digital Vibes communication contract.
Phaahla says proper labour relations processes will be followed.
“The SIU, when it makes findings, they do refer matters. So at this stage, we do have some matters they’ve referred to us, I’m saying those matters, we will follow proper labour relations processes. So, the members will know when those processes are being taken.”