The Gauteng Health Department says it is in a race against time as it seeks to get millions more vaccinated ahead of the onset of the COVID-19 fourth wave.

The department says its aim is to vaccinate 500 000 people by the end of Sunday during the second leg of the Vooma Vaccination Campaign Weekend which started on Friday.

The first leg was at the start of October.

Health MEC Dr. Nomathemba Mokgethi says she is satisfied that many people, particularly the youth  are responding to government’s campaign to get vaccinated, with over 3.2 million already vaccinated in the province.

Mokgethi says, “What I have just seen is that the mobilisation was quite good because as you can see a lot came out to vaccinate and they’re very happy. I think now the messages have gone through to them.”

“Now they know that the vaccination is safe. So we are also teaching them about the side effects and what to do when experiencing side effects. If they persist for more than three days at the back of our card there’s a number and they have to call that number.”

Children

Mokgethi has urged parents to allow their children who are aged 12 to 17 to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes as the African Christian Democratic Party and various civil society movements approach the High Court in Pretoria to challenge the vaccination of children.

She says their observation is that most parents are willing to have their children vaccinated.

“Like here in Tshwane since we started vaccinating the 12 – 17 years old we have vaccinated more than 4000 and most of the parents as we interact with them they are telling us that they just want their children to write exams and after that they will bring them. Some of them just come without being accompanied by parents. But we advise that they come with, so that they can observe them after they vaccinated,” Mokgethi adds.