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EC Covid19 vaccine plan targets 3.7m people

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The Eastern Cape Health Department says approximately 3.7 million people above the age of 18 will be vaccinated during the first phase of the COVID19 mass vaccine rollout in the province.

This amounts to 67% of the provincial population.

Briefing Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health on Wednesday, the head of the Eastern Cape's Covid19 Project Management Unit, Dr Sibongile Zungu, said healthcare workers and support staff would be the priority during phase 1 of the rollout.

"For the first phase, where we are working mostly at this point, we're estimating that we will be having 200 000 healthcare workers and related workers in the Province," she said.

Dr Zungu says the second phase of the Eastern Cape's vaccine roll-out will target about 1.5 million people, including one million essential workers, people in congregate settings numbering around 300 000 and an estimated 200 000 people over 18 with co-morbidities.

She said the third phase of the Eastern Cape vaccine programme would target people over the age of 18, estimated at around two million people.

Dr Zungu said to achieve "herd or population" immunity around 67% of the provincial population, with a minimum immunisation target of 2.3 million people, needed to receive the vaccine.

She said the Eastern Cape Health Department would establish a Department of Health Covid19 vaccination project task team and COVAC control centres to oversee the vaccine roll-out.

The Portfolio Committee heard that the Eastern Cape Health Department's estimates were based on data from Statistics South Africa's mid-year population estimates.

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