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The Gauteng Health Department is adding new vaccination sites in an effort to ramp up its inoculation drive for those aged 60 and above.

According to the provincial department, Gauteng has expanded the public vaccination sites from 28 to 63 across the five regions. These include 18 in Johannesburg, 14 each in Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, 10 in the West Rand and seven in Sedibeng.

Meanwhile, as of 22 May 2021, 40 028 people were vaccinated at old age homes and health facilities across the province.

In addition, 164 191 people, including healthcare workers have received their jabs, with 390 945 registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) platform.

The province has reminded citizens that phase one of the vaccination programme is focusing on healthcare workers, traditional practitioners and funeral parlour employees.

Phase two prioritises the elderly as they are more vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalisation and death should they contract COVID-19.

“All residents are urged to help reduce the spread of the pandemic by getting the COVID-19 vaccine when their turn comes,” said the department.

However, the provincial department has discouraged the public from visiting the vaccination sites until they have received an SMS advising them to do so.

While getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect oneself and loved ones, the department said it should be noted that people can still contract Coronavirus even if they have been vaccinated.

“The vaccine boosts the immune system to prevent severe illness, hospitalisation, and death in the event one contracts the disease. By vaccinating and adhering to the non-pharmaceutical interventions we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep the economy open.”

SAnews.gov.za

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