Friday 7 July 2021 – Business for South Africa (B4SA) welcomes the National Department of Health’s decision to allow 35- to 49-year-olds to register for their Covid-19 vaccinations on 15 July and to receive their jabs from 1 August onwards.
Martin Kingston, chairman of the B4SA Steering Committee said, “The only way to fight the third wave, save lives, restart the economy, and lift restrictions on our way of life is to vaccinate the nation as quickly as possible. Vaccinating everyone aged over 35 protects those most at risk from serious illness, hospitalisation and death due to their age, and ensures the protection of the working-age population, which helps to manage the economic impact of the pandemic.
“We are also very pleased that Treasury and the National Department of Health have agreed to release funds to ramp up weekend vaccinations in the public sector.
“We now need to quickly secure more vaccine supply so we have enough to meet demand. Business is working with government to cut red tape, secure more vaccines, and bring many more hundreds of vaccination sites on stream in the coming weeks. With enough vaccine supply and all sites vaccinating seven days a week, we can reach our target of administering 300,000 jabs a day.
“We call on everyone to register for vaccination as soon as they become eligible, and to follow the scheduling instructions they receive. As Dr Nicholas Crisp highlighted in his presentation to the media today, people should not confuse registration with vaccination, and we urge people to wait to receive their appointments. This helps to ensure that supply matches the demand at individual sites.”
Kingston said some 1,400 workplace sites had expressed interest in becoming vaccination sites. Of these, 90 had already obtained permits, 80 were prioritised sites with an employee base of more than 4,000 and the balance were in the process of applying and getting their permits.
But he warned that it was vital to continue taking the necessary prevention measures to slow down the infection rate. “The third wave is killing hundreds of people every day,” said Kingston, “so please continue to wear your masks, sanitise, maintain social distancing and ensure adequate ventilation. This is an airborne disease, so keeping windows and doors open, or staying outside can dramatically reduce your risk of contracting the virus.”