In an attempt to end the threat of COVID-19 on our shores this year, vaccines were expected to emerge from the traps in 2021. However, at the midpoint of the year, less than 1% of all South Africans have a complete virus protection. The target of collective immunity now seems light years away – and it now appears that a change in strategy is needed.

Why is South Africa moving away from collective immunity?

Health experts working for Bhekisisa have confirmed that the government’s plan is geared more towards “containment.” Essentially, it’s a less comprehensive form of herd immunity, which only seeks to ease the burden on the healthcare system, rather than stinging as many people as possible in a short period of time.

  • Trust us, these guys explain it a lot better than we ever could …

“Achieving collective immunity against COVID-19 through vaccination by 2022 is no longer on the table for South Africa. The country is now aiming for a less ambitious goal called ‘containment,’ which aims to immunize just enough people so that COVID hospital admissions don’t put more strain on the healthcare system than any other disease. “

“Nearly half of 2021, however, our vaccination rollout has only immunized just over a million people with a dose of COVID vaccine. Only 0.8% of the population is FULLY protected. Stop-start deployment isn’t the only reason herd immunity isn’t realistic – a scarce supply of vaccines and new variants circulating in the country are also playing a role. “

Bhekisisa Journal, June 3, 2021

What is containment?

Under the sweeping new containment plans, LESS THAN HALF of the entire population would need to be given the jab. This would allow South Africa to finally come out of containment, as it learns to live with the virus endemically. Professor Barry Schoub, Chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee of South Africa, kindly did the math for us.

  • – The collective immunity target – which amounted to 67% of ALL South Africans – will now be revised for 68% of ALL adults.
  • – Assuming that some people are already immunized, you can reduce the estimate of the number of people who need a vaccine to 46%.
  • – This takes us from the need to vaccinate 41 million people to just over 27.4 million people.
  • – Professor Barry Schoub says this goal CAN realistically be achieved by 2022.
  • – “Containment” gives AS a level of immunization that causes the least strain on our health system.

Collective immunity must be dropped – but who is to blame?

It is unfair to blame the slow rollout of the vaccine squarely for this shift in herd immunity. But make no mistake, it played a role. South Africa was slow to get hold of, and even found itself at the back of the pack for COVAX due to a series of late payments. By the time the doses were obtained, expired lots and “ineffective” vaccines delayed the program.

Vaccines have only been available to the public for two and a half weeks, as older people rush to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Containment therefore seems a much more manageable goal for the government.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-03 11:29:15


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