Vaccinations continue and keeping safe amidst third wave
Vaccinations: the update
Since the beginning of the vaccination to the public, the Western Cape Government has consistently exceeded its weekly vaccination targets. But we have also experienced setbacks relating to national vaccine supply.
Between 17 May and 10 June, the province received 245 700 vaccines. As at 17 June we have utilized 93.4% of these to vaccinate 229 667 people. In addition, 91 732 health workers were also vaccinated in Phase 1, bringing the combined total of people vaccinated in the province to 321 399.
What to expect next week (21 – 25 June)
On 17 June, we received 49 140 vaccines which will be utilised next week (21 – 25 June). This is again fewer vaccines than we hoped for. These vaccines, along with the remaining vaccines from this week, will be used to vaccinate as many people as we can in the coming week. Our target for this week will is to administer 50 000 vaccines.
We anticipate we will have 155 active vaccination sites during the week to come. The names of the sites per area will be updated on our registration dashboard over the weekend and can be viewed here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/vaccine-dashboard
Keeping Safe in the Third Wave: Your role
The Province has now officially entered the Third Wave of COVID-19 infections. This coincides with our vaccination programme, as well as the Winter Season which will bring cold weather and force us indoors. We must all stand together to beat the third wave of the coronavirus. We can do this by understanding how coronavirus spreads and keeping up our good habits.
By now, we all know how the virus spreads, which is mainly at social gatherings. The Department’s surveillance teams have already picked up many cluster outbreaks Most of these outbreaks do not stem from mass events, but from smaller social gatherings such as family/friend gatherings, funerals, bowling and sporting events, braai’s, etc. These social gatherings have such a negative impact on our response, which you may not be aware of. It is very important to note that even if you are not attending a social gathering but you are outside of your family bubble and come into contact with people outside of your bubble, the risk exist for you to pick up the virus. Because of the increase in case numbers, your chances of coming into contact with a person who has COVID is now much greater than it was a few weeks ago if you go to a gathering, shopping, eating out and not being safe. If we want to curb the size and intensity of the third wave, our behavior must change.
What follows a social gathering
Without being aware of it you may have picked up the virus after spending time with friends and family. As you then return home, back to work, back to school, or visit an elderly and vulnerable person - all these people who you have come into contact are now also at risk of being infected. They in turn continue with their daily routine - return back to their primary environment which could be there homes or workplace. Here they then can pass on the virus to their household members. And so the transmission chain continues to grow, and spreads faster.
We can avoid a transmission chain from setting in by protecting our air space. We need to break the chain of transmission – here is how:
- Avoid large gatherings;
- Also avoid social gatherings which are outside your immediate household;
- If you need to go out, always wear your mask;
- If you need to meet up, keep it outdoors, small and short;
- When gathering indoors, dress warmly and ensure the windows are open so your space is well ventilated with fresh air;
- If sick, stay home
Vaccination is not a bulletproof vest
Over the last few weeks, we have come across several misconceptions about being vaccinated. We would like to remind the public that the vaccine gives great protection against severe illness and death. However, it does not offer a guarantee that you will not contract (or transmit) Covid-19. So even if you have been vaccinated, and do not practice the necessary safety measures, you can still contract the virus, albeit a mild disease. It is therefore crucially important that we continue to adhere to the golden rules of keeping safe as set out above.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms you must isolate for 10 days. This way you ensure you protect yourself and not place anyone else at risk of contracting the virus.