Picture: 123RF/SSILVER
Picture: 123RF/SSILVER

The department of health finally heard the outcry and will start vaccinating during weekends from August along with the rollout to people between 35 and 49 years old, with registrations starting on July 15.

One has to question why we are waiting till August, though. One of the primary findings of the most recent and concluding wave 5 of the National Income Dynamics Study (Nids) — Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Cram) study is that the lack of weekend vaccinations is the binding constraint to the SA vaccination programme, which has resulted in as many as 1.3-million missed vaccination opportunities.

The main reason for this has been a lack of funding to pay healthcare workers to put in the extra hours. And its so important because the levels of poverty and grinding inequality accelerated by the pandemic have created the perfect conditions for the sort of tinderbox that Jacob Zuma and his fellows are exploiting with the looting we are witnessing in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Michael Avery talks to Nic Spaull, an economist at Stellenbosch University and the co-principal investigator of the Nids-Cram study; Mpumi Mohohlwane, deputy director: research, monitoring and evaluation and the department of basic education; Tim Köhler, a junior researcher at the DPRU and a PhD candidate in UCT's School of Economics, and Reza Daniels, associate professor in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town (UCT), about the latest findings.

Michael Avery and his panel of experts discuss the latest vaccination news and the political unrest in KZN and Gauteng

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