The President has announced that 17 million South Africans have so far vaccinated and government was looking to vaccinate 16 million more in the next 10 weeks.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the mooted vaccine certificates will be rolled out by the Department of Health as government also made its final push, with a campaign to get over 16 million more vaccine jabs out by December.
Ramaphosa announced the ‘Vooma [agree] Vaccination Weekends’ campaign would see government ramp up its vaccination efforts by allowing more vaccination sites to operate over the weekend.
He said South Africa had administered over 17 million vaccine jabs to date, while they were targeting 16 million more people by mid-December.
Speaking anecdotally, the President said he had noted a marked improvement in mask wearing among the general public.
Speaking on the vaccine passport, Ramaphosa said the Department of Health would roll out the vaccine certificates which could be used as a form of proof of vaccination for those wishing to travel or access establishments.
“The Department of Health should be rolling out a vaccination certificate which will provide a secure and a verifiable proof of vaccination certificate which can be used to facilitate travel to access establishments and gatherings and other forms of activity that require proof of vaccination,” he said.
He said this was in line with WHO guidelines
“This will also go a long way towards getting a number of international travel restrictions lifted, both from and into our country,” he said.
“Getting vaccinated is not only about protecting oneself and those around you, it is also about preventing you and more dangerous variants from emerging as a virus is able to spread a mutated variant to unvaccinated populations.
“However we should remember that even if we are vaccinated we need to continue to adhere to the basic precautions to limit the spread of the virus from one person to another,” said Ramaphosa.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa also told the country that he had spoken with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss concerns over South Africa being placed on the UK’s Red List.
He said the UK travel ban was affecting South Africa as the UK accounted for the most international tourists into the country.
Ramaphosa said they had assured UK scientists who were concerned about the prevalence of the Beta variant, that the most prevalent variant in the country was in fact Delta.
“I had a telephone conversation with the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss this matter.
“I put South Africa’s case to him which he understood very well and we both agreed that the decisions of this nature should be informed by science and we are both hopeful of a positive outcome when the issue comes up for review in the coming days.
“Our greatest priority now is to ensure that the economy recovers as quickly as possible so that we can create jobs and help businesses to get back on their feet.
“The only way we can do this is if more South Africans choose to get vaccinated, the more quickly the majority of the population is vaccinated we can declare South Africa to be a safe destination and welcome tourists back over the summer season,” he said..