Western Cape reaches 50% flu vaccination coverage | Western Cape Government


Western Cape reaches 50% flu vaccination coverage

5 June 2023

Western Cape reaches 50% flu vaccination coverage and encourages more at-risk residents to vaccinate

Maintaining high levels of immunity by being up-to-date with influenza vaccination is one of the best decisions that we can take to be safe this winter. This is particularly important due to an increased risk of the flu circulating over the next months. We expect that more people are likely to get sick from the flu due to more indoor gatherings, and less immunity to the flu.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that nationally determined high-risk populations should be vaccinated against flu. High-risk groups include pregnant women (at particular risk of severe influenza pneumonia), people with HIV and other causes of immune suppression, people with chronic lung, neurological or cardiac disease, metabolic diseases such as diabetes and morbid obesity, the elderly (65 and older) and healthcare workers.

As of 1 June 2023, the Western Cape has administered 69 966 flu vaccines. The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness would like to thank our residents for helping us to reach over 50% vaccination coverage since the start of the influenza vaccination programme in April 2023. While we are pleased with the outcomes of the vaccination programme to date, those unvaccinated residents who are vulnerable to waning immunity and serious illness are encouraged to vaccinate without delay. 

Breakdown of flu vaccines administered provincially, as of 1 June 2023:​​​​​​​

Cape Metro – 31 782 (45% coverage rate)
Cape Winelands – 12 210 (74% coverage rate)
Central Karoo – 709 (54% coverage rate)
Garden Route – 9 771 (84% coverage rate)
Overberg – 8 459 (84% coverage rate)
West Coast – 7 095 (73% coverage rate)

“Our provincial target is 100% utilisation of the doses that we procured. So far, our flu vaccination programme is doing well, and we cannot thank our residents enough. The flu vaccine is free at our province’s healthcare facilities to people who are vulnerable to waning immunity and serious illness. Those individuals not eligible for free vaccination can still get it via their private doctor, or pharmacy,” says Charlene Lawrence, Deputy Director of Communicable Disease Control, at the Department.

The flu vaccine has a proven safety record and in rare instances only causes very mild reactions, such as soreness at the injection site, mild fever, or headache.