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MBABANE – Over 18 000 people have been inoculated for COVID-19 in the country so far.

This was disclosed in last Saturday’s ‘COVID-19 Vaccination Summary’, which revealed that since the elderly vaccination process started last Wednesday, the numbers of vaccinated people had increased from 4 514 to 18  130. This means that 13 616 people have been vaccinated in the past five days. Worth noting is that by the time this report was being compiled yesterday at 14:11pm, more vaccinations were ongoing in the different tinkhundla centres. The vaccination process in the country began on March 17, 2021 when the Minister of Health, Lizzie Nkosi, headed a test run with 10 other officials and it was formerly launched by Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku on March 19, 2021.

Since then, the COVID-19 vaccination exercise in the country has been ongoing at a snail’s pace. The first in line to be vaccinated were the vaccinators who then inoculated healthcare workers and politicians around the country. It is last Wednesday when the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine on the elderly began, when the pace of the exercise increased. The vaccination summary also reflected that out of the 18 130 who vaccinated, 10 265 vaccinated in community sites and not in healthcare facilities. The community sites include the tinkhundla centres, where the elderly are currently being given their first Oxford AstraZeneca jabs. More females have been vaccinated than males as 8 928 women have been vaccinated compared to 8 662 males.

In the summary, it also reflected that people with hypertension were the most vaccinated with 6 396 vaccinations. People with HIV were the second most vaccinated with 2 978 vaccinations. Most vaccinations happened on March 31, where 4 255 people were inoculated with the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. According to the report, no vaccinations were conducted on the weekends of March 20 and March 21 and March 27 and March 28. Among the 18 130 who were vaccinated, 5 839 were healthcare workers. Worth noting is that according to the country’s vaccination plan, there are three phases. In Phase I, vaccination is going to happen among healthcare workers, the elderly and people with comorbidities. In Phase II, the work force, mainly essential workers like teachers, bankers and police, will be vaccinated. Phase III is for any person above the age of 18.

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