Young people in Tshwane urged to vaccinate amid COVID-19 fourth wave

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The Health department has encouraged more people in Tshwane to vaccinate as the impact of the fourth wave is already gripping the Capital City. Tshwane is so far the COVID-19 epicentre in Gauteng.

Most COVID-19 related hospital admissions and deaths are recorded in Tshwane so far, raising concern of a devastating impact when the peak of the fourth wave grips Gauteng.

Most people vaccinated in Tshwane are between the ages 40 and 49, followed by 30-39 years old.

So far just over 29% of the Tshwane population is fully vaccinated. This is predominately due to the low vaccination rate among the youth.

With the new variant spreading rapidly due to its high transmissibility, Tshwane is already dealing with a surge in hospital admissions that drastically increased in the last week.

Both Private and Public hospitals have recorded a surge in admissions.

Health Minister has reiterated his call for everyone to vaccinate to protect themselves against the new variant.

Tshwane has a large population of Youth due to its many Academic institutions.  The Minister has warned against large gatherings that are often attended by young people.

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says, “We know that large gatherings remain super spreaders. As we said that when we saw the rise it could be linked to particular areas like Gauteng and the Tshwane Metro. Some as we said was closer to the Tshwane University of Technology.”

“While there’s still a lot of questions unanswered about this new omicron variant, the evidence remains that our best protection remains vaccinations. We must therefore not hesitate to take the vaccines against omicron,” says Phaahla.

The department has embarked on another round of the Vooma vaccine drive in the Capital city to encourage more people to take the jab.

Tshwane District Health Manager, Dr Mpho Shabangu says, “We want as many people as possible to be vaccinated cos we know the benefits of vaccines. In Tshwane, we are seeing a surge of cases. We also observed cluster outbreaks at our institutions of higher learning.”

Meanwhile, the Tshwane Emergency Services is also in gear to respond to the rise in COVID-19 related cases in the Capital.

Tshwane Emergency Services Spokesperson Charles Mabaso says, “Any incident reported on our toll-free number will receive the necessary emergency hell that they need.”

Gauteng is expected to reach the peak of the fourth wave in the next two weeks, with Tshwane’s hospitals expected to be under pressure.

Young people have so far recorded the highest infection rate in the Capital City.

The health department has urged everyone in Tshwane especially young people that are socially active to adhere to all public health protocols.

Omicron is now the dominant variant in Gauteng as cases spike: