CAPE TOWN – SA initiated the Global Vax campaign in collaboration with the United States govt to expedite Covid-19 vaccinations and make a contribution to the target of immunising 70% of the world population against Covid-19 by 2022.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla stated in KwaZulu-Natal province, last Friday  that the campaign to get more individuals to have the life-saving vaccine would continue indefinitely as the vaccine is the best defense against Covid-19 virus.

“The goal of this program is to participate in the global target of vaccinating 70% of the world against coronavirus by 2022,” he said.

“The strategy is in tune with the US President Joe Biden’s exceptional commitment to give 1.2 million vaccination doses by 2022 end,” explained Phaahla.

According to the minister, the Global Vax campaign supplements bi – lateral initiatives with the American government on tuberculosis, HIV, sexually transmitted disease, and noncommunicable illnesses.

“It would help to strengthen our bilateral partnership during pandemic and healthcare system strengthening,” he stated “.

Global Vax will come into force through the Accelerating Development Against Pandemic Threats Activity (ADAPT) mechanism, which is handled by the non-governmental organisation Right to Care in collaboration with national and state health departments.

“By using local and above-the-line communications platforms, we are expanding vaccine demand in targeted areas with low vaccine uptake,” said the minister.

This has been in reaction to University of Cape Town research findings that revealed that half of the unvaccinated people are willing to get vaccinated, still are waiting to access how the vaccination roll-out goes.

“They claim they don’t know which place to go or that the locations are quite far away. To address vaccine concerns, we are operating community-driven campaigns, mobile vaccination groups are being sent to deliver vaccines to under tapped populations, especially in rural districts, and community collaboration is assisting people in locating vaccination camps and receiving the vaccine “Phaahla stated

In addition, the minister started a campaign that helps caregivers who fight the pandemic despite the fact that their coworkers or relatives have died as a result of it.

“The #CrazySock4Docs campaign encourages all health workers to participate by wearing  colourful and different socks. This small token of gratitude means a great deal to our dedicated and selfless health professionals.” Phaahla and other podium guests were wearing colourful socks, which Phaahla pointed out.

The govt was pleased with overall vaccination uptake, according to Phaahla, with 50% of adults getting at least one dose, soaring to 70% for over 60, who’ve been considered most vulnerable.

“The main concern is still the youth, with limited vaccine uptake between them, particularly the 35 to 49 age group, that exhibits a high level of hesitancy, influenced largely by negativity and misinformation vaccine messages spread primarily through social media,” Phaahla said.

Anyone above 50 yrs, according to the minister, can get a 2nd booster shot starting Monday incase they haven’t had one in at least 4 months.

According to Phaahla, the large percentage of Covid-19 patient populations admitted were not vaccinated.

“This means simply that unvaccinated individuals remain vulnerable,” he explained, adding that “if we get another variant, unvaccinated individuals will fill up our healthcare facilities.”

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