This follows reports of concerns of low numbers of men coming forward to get vaccinated and vaccine hesitancy following misleading statements by anti-vaxxers.
Experts have predicted that a fourth wave is on the horizon. They say the first week of December would be difficult times for many as the country will not have gained herd immunity by then.
There are 43 vaccination sites in Tshwane, one of the largest metros in Gauteng. Among them is the first of a kind drive-through vaccination site in Centurion south of the city. Its organisers have urged government to fast-track the rate of vaccinations.
Yusuf Ambramjee, one of the organizers, says anti-vaxxers have caused a lot of fear.
“We could expect a fourth wave and the longer we delay, the more dangerous it is gonna become. The anti-vaxxers are causing a lot of misinformation, they are causing a lot of scare tactics causing fear,” says Ambramjee.
Those who were vaccinated expressed their concerns about those remaining hesitant to take the jab.
“Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. Rush and do not waste any time. Because if you don’t you gonna die. I already had my first jab and I will be going for my second jab soon. In the meantime, I’m following all safety measures. I wear the mask and wash my hands frequently” adds Ambramjee..
Gauteng, which was the epicenter for the third COVID-19 wave, is preparing for the fourth wave. Health MEC, Nomathemba Mokgethi, believes the province is on the right track.
“What we are currently doing is to prepare for the fourth wave and we are busy making sure that all facilities are ready for the fourth wave. We are monitoring it through the Advisory Committee of the Premier to make sure that as soon as we pick up, there’s a variant spreading to make sure we deal with it earnestly,” says Mokgethi
Health expert, from the University of Johannesburg’s Center for Social Change, Carin Runciman shared similar sentiments.
“What vaccination has led to is a decline in the number of hospitalizations and fatalities. When most reports are indicating that in the UK and US, those that were admitted in ICU with COVID are mostly the unvaccinated. So it does appear that the vaccination is best chances of dealing with this and making sure we don’t have the high rate of fatalities.”
Experts say vaccination alone will not slow down fatality rates, but compliance with COVID-19 safety measures must be enforced at all times. The deadly coronavirus has so far claimed over 78 000 lives in South Africa since the outbreak of the pandemic more than a year ago.