The Western Cape’s ongoing vaccination rollout efforts is demonstrated in the province achieving the highest vaccine rate per capita, with over 88,600 vaccines per million residents. Over the last week, the provincial government ramped up its vaccine roll-out and reached the highest number of residents at 29 600 in one day. Now, with the launch of the vaccine Centre of Hope at the CTICC, the goal of 30 000 shots per day is set to be met this week.
Whilst we will continue to hold the provincial government to account for its part in the vaccine rollout, we have to keep in mind that its efforts are entirely dependent on supply from national government. As more vaccines have become available over time, the province has met its roll-out capacity in line with its commitments.
This includes outreach to rural areas, including farms, where provincial government has partnered with the private sector and communities to ensure that vaccines reach all corners of the Western Cape. We are hopeful to reach even more residents as registration for 35+ year-olds has opened and the walk-in approach is permitted at carefully managed vaccine sites.
Now that we find ourselves firmly in the 3rd wave of infections, we have an advantage of already having roughly 14% of the targeted population vaccinated. Over 589 000 residents have received their jabs to-date. We do, however, need to achieve greater support amongst older residents who remain amongst the most vulnerable to Covid-19. For this reason, I will write to hospital boards and clinic committees where jabs are administered to enquire on the work they do to encourage these residents to receive the life-saving vaccinations.
We urge all eligible residents to register, get vaccinated, and help family and friends to do the same. All of the available evidence tells us one very clear and important message: vaccines work and they save lives. Vaccines are our key to a future of reduced Covid-19 waves, which also means greater freedom from severe lockdown regulations.
Whilst we are all understandably frustrated at times, it is crucial that we maintain social distancing, wear our masks, and keep up with good hygiene. We have a shared fight against this virus, and so we must take every possible step to stay safe and protect our loved ones.