Deputy President, David Mabuza, says despite government's COVID-19 vaccination programme moving at a slow pace, they still hope to reach 40 million people by December this year.
Mabuza said this on Thursday during a COVID-19 vaccine rollout outreach programme in Mogale City, west of Johannesburg. Th3 deputy president said government must meet its target by 31 December 2021 in order to achieve population immunity.
“We think we must work for December. We need to get out of this situation. Our economy is devasted, our people have lost jobs, so we can't stay in this situation forever. We must push and pull ourselves out,” he said.
Mabuza said even if government fails to reach this desired target, it will continue to vaccinate more people.
“We will be left with more or less 19 million people who would need to be vaccinated. Remember we are a population of 58.8 million people, you can call it 59 million. 70% is roughly 40 million [of the population]. We reach that we will still vaccinate the remaining,” he said.
Mabuza also said government will not use police to stop anti-vaccine individuals who use public platforms such as social media to spread anti-vaccination messaging.
More than 12.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in South Africa and just over 5 million people have been fully vaccinated.