Gauteng reaches the target of 10 million vaccines administered against Covid-19

The Gauteng Department of Health has achieved its goal of vaccinating more than 10 million people in the province against Covid-19.

This was revealed on Tuesday by Dr. Nomathemba Mokgethi of the MEC sanitary during the presentation of the vote on the budget of her department for the financial year 2022/23 in the provincial legislature.

Covid-19 strikes

Gauteng leads the other provinces in the country in terms of the number of jabs administered at 10,005,136, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with over five million vaccinations. Nationwide, nearly 50% of the population has been vaccinated.

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Despite the province’s milestone, Mokgethi said his department plans to ramp up its vaccination schedule amid fears of a fifth wave of infections this winter.

He said a total of R1.5 billion was earmarked for the fight against the pandemic.

“I must hurry to say that there are even more people who need to receive the jab to protect themselves and those around them.

“Therefore, we want to remind everyone once again that Covid-19 is still among us and that vaccination, along with compliance with safety measures, remains the best form of protection as we accelerate efforts to restore the means of subsistence, “said Mokgethi.

Countryside street by street

The MEC said the health department will integrate Covid-19 vaccination into all service points within the public health system as part of its Street to Street campaign, which will soon be launched.

The campaign is a focused and holistic approach that would help the department bring a basket of health services such as tuberculosis screening, HIV counseling, testing and management – among other services – to communities.

“In addition, a total amount of R1.5 billion is earmarked for the global health response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is assigned, inter alia, to the management of the vaccination introduction program.

“Included in this amount is the one billion rupees, intended to support the full seats created for the Covid-19 response program,” Mokgethi said.

Other highlights of Tuesday’s budget vote included earmarking Rand 6.2 billion for the provincial HIV and TB program.

Gauteng runs one of the largest HIV prevention and treatment programs in the country.

R35.2 billion was allocated to support the current staff of the department and to speed up the filling of all critical posts in health care institutions.

Mental health care services were awarded at R474.6 million in this financial year.

Emergency services would receive Rand 1.6 billion to improve emergency response times in urban and rural areas of the province. About 30 ambulances, according to the health MEC, had already been purchased to increase the responsiveness of the EMS.

R2.3 billion was also allocated to implement health infrastructure projects in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Sebokeng and other areas of the province.

Overall, the Gauteng Department of Health received a total of Rand 59.4 billion for the financial year and an additional Rand 178.2 billion under the 2022 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF).

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