The National Department of Health has declared 3 -10 December 2021 “Vooma Week” in a big push for vaccinations ahead of the festive break.
In a statement, the Department said during this period, all provinces would increase the number of vaccination sites, especially in travel hubs, shopping malls and recreational areas.
It said this was in an effort to vaccinate as many people as possible in the face of the 4th wave.
The Vooma Week builds on the success of the previous two Vooma Weekends (1-3 October and 12-14 November) which resulted in a combined total of just under 650,000 vaccinations. The President’s call to the nation to get vaccinated has led to a substantially increased uptake over the past few days, and Vooma Week will build on that momentum.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla in the statement said: “We want families to be safe this festive season.
“Before you go home, before you leave on vacation, make sure you protect yourself and those you love. If you visit your parents and they have not yet been vaccinated, go with them to your closest vaccination site. It could save their lives.”
There are still four million people aged 50 years and older who have not come forward for vaccination.
The Department said this group remained the highest risk for severe illness and death.
While younger people were not without risk, 40% of hospital admissions occur in people younger than fifty years of age. For these reasons, reads the statement, it was imperative that everyone came for vaccination without further delay.
During Vooma Week, leaders from across all sectors – government, unions, business and civil society – are requested to participate in local mobilisation through door-to-door canvassing and active engagement in places of worship and workspaces.
“We don’t want the Vooma Week to be viewed as a government activity,” said the Minister.
“Everyone has to play their part. We want to vaccinate a million more people during Vooma Week, but at the end, let us not ask whether ‘government has achieved its targets, but whether all of us working together have exceeded that target of 1 million people vaccinated in one week”.
Phaahla further reinforced the importance for every individual to take personal responsibility through the wearing of masks, meeting outside or in venues with doors and windows wide open, regular hand sanitation and washing, and maintain social distance. Together with vaccination, these practices offer the best chance of avoiding COVID-19 infection.
The Vooma Week will be supported by a range of other activities including: Vooma Vax Champs – a growing network of advocates for vaccination across the country;
• Vouchers of R200 for people aged 50 years and older who come for their very first vaccination; and
• A lucky draw with hundreds of cash prizes of R1 000, R10 000 and R100 000 for everyone who has received at least one vaccination by the end of the year.
Vaccination sites open over the weekend of 4-5 December are listed at: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/vooma-vaccination-weekend/