MEC: Get your booster shot
Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba launched the Covid-19 booster campaign at Limpopo Mall last week in anticipation of the fifth wave.
Ramathuba said the department is concerned about the increase in new Covid-19 cases and encourages vaccination as a key intervention strategy in preventing another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the fourth wave, the analysis report has showed a significant decline in Covid-19 mortalities and hospitalisations, which, according to the MEC, can be attributed to people getting vaccinated.
The fifth wave, driven by a new variant namely Omicron variant B4 and B5, was recently reported in South Africa. Recent data suggest that the booster shot offers extra protection from these emerging variants. Ramathuba explained that the campaign aims to improve booster uptake among the high-risk population and improve the vaccine uptake in the younger population.
“My priority is to get those who are older than 50 to get their booster shots. These are the people who clog the system, if I can get their immune systems improved, I know they will survive the fifth wave,” she said.
She added they will not neglect the young people who she said are hesitant to get vaccinated but who are the main carriers and spreaders of new variants.
Ramathuba urged people to keep in mind that the national state of disaster assisted with dealing with the virus because of restrictions that made it easier for hospitals to focus on Covid-19 cases without the burden of trauma cases.
“With the fifth wave, it is important that people get vaccinated and get their booster shots. The mortality rate during the fourth wave was low despite the Omicron variant being highly transmittable. Limpopo reached its peak in cases compared to the other three waves, but in terms of deaths and hospitalisation it was low as people had been vaccinated and those that hadn’t, had natural immunity. If you are still in doubt, the fifth wave is here and the numbers are starting to pick up. We are worried about those who have lower immunity, as people received their dosages last year and we need to boost their immunity once again,” Ramathuba said.