President Cyril Ramaphosa is urging local leaders on a government, community and business level to support the upcoming Vooma Vaccination Weekend in order to help increase the national vaccination rate.
According to the department of health (DOH), a fourth wave is expected to hit the country early in the new year.
“Thee out of five people aged 50 and older have now had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine,” said health minister Dr Joe Phaahla.
“If we can get close to five out of five people in this age group vaccinated by the end of the year, we will crush the power of the fourth wave by substantially reducing the number of hospital admissions and deaths.”
Phaahla said that while South Africa would likely be unable to prevent the fourth wave from occurring, a higher vaccination rate could significantly reduce the impact.
The first Vooma Vaccination Weekend was able to meet 75% of its goal, Phaahla said, and this weekend it was hoped to fully meet its target.
Vaccination sites across the country will be open during the Vooma weekend, with the department saying it hopes to ensure at least 95% capacity on Saturday.
Fewer sites will be open on Sunday, but the department said it will be focusing on outreach programmes to faith congregations to try and get them involved in the vaccination project.
“As we prepare to express our appreciation to health professionals who have worked tirelessly to vaccinate South Africans, we would also like to thank almost 16 million South Africans who have vaccinated to date,” Phaahla said.
“Your efforts will ensure that we break the power of the deadly pandemic and speed up the process of saving lives and livelihoods.”
The list of vaccination sites that will be open during the Vooma weekend can be found here.