South Africa extends vaccinations to under-50s as Covid cases soar

3 weeks ago 15

South Africa announced Friday it would commencement vaccinating radical nether 50 years aged arsenic the continent's hardest-hit state buckles nether a vicious 3rd question of Covid-19 infections driven by the Delta variant.

The determination comes conscionable 2 weeks aft the authorities extended the country's struggling vaccination run nether 60s.

"We are aiming to commencement vaccinating the 35 to 49 property radical from August 1," acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane told a play media briefing.

With much than 2.1 cardinal detected coronavirus cases, South Africa accounts for 37 percent of the continent's infections, followed acold down by Morocco and Tunisia with 9 and 8 percent respectively, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

And infections are rapidly rising, with a pandemic-high 26,485 recorded connected Saturday alone. On Thursday it saw 22,910 caller cases and 460 deaths, taking its full fig of fatalities to 63,499.

Leading virologist Tulio de Oliveira told the briefing that the highly contagious Delta variant "is inactive accelerated spreading" successful the country.

"We are not retired the woods," helium said.

"What's happening successful South Africa is happening is galore countries that inactive person debased vaccination rates."

Around 4 cardinal of South Africa's 59 cardinal colonisation person received astatine slightest a archetypal dose astatine 1 of astir 2,600 vaccination sites.

"We person reached 5.6 percent of the population, evidently mode excessively small to scope heard immunity," said Nicholas Crisp, the wellness ministry's lawman director-general.

The authorities precocious approved the usage of Chinese vaccines Sinovac and Sinopharm, which joined the Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson jabs successful the country's rollout.

It is targeting a complaint of 250,000 vaccinations daily.

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