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COVID-19 tracker 18 October 2021

SA opens up vaccinations to 12 to 17-year olds this week

Shireen Darmalingam

Vaccine update:

  • Globally, over 6.67 billion vaccines have been administered across 184 countries at a rate of 26.4 million doses a day.
  • US infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci has said that the US may mix doses when it delivers booster shots
  • The US has surpassed 10 million booster shots; more booster shots are now being administered daily than those getting vaccinated for the first time.
  • France’s health agency has requested more information on the side effects of Moderna’s vaccine on younger people.
  • Egypt has mandated that public sector employees must be vaccinated in order to enter their workplaces, or face a weekly Covid test.
  • Locally, 20.2 million vaccines have been administered to date; 17,558 vaccines were administered yesterday.
  • The SA Minister of Health has announced that registration and vaccination for 12 to 17-year olds will open on 20 October.
  • One dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been recommended due to risk associated with 2 doses of Pfizer in some adolescents. 
  • Booster vaccines for the immune-compromised have also been approved through doctors' recommendations. 
  • The booster jab will be the same as the initial vaccine used. 
  • Booster vaccines for healthcare workers are currently in the approval process and will be announced soon. 

Global cases update:

  • Cases have surpassed 241.47 million, while the death toll has surpassed 4.91 million; recoveries are at 218.71 million.
  • The US has 45.79 million cases, accounting for 18% of global cases; the US death toll is 744,546. 
  • India has 34.08 million cases and 452,321 deaths; Brazil has 21.64 million cases and 603,324 deaths.
  • The UK has reported the highest new daily increase in infections since mid-July, which has prompted calls for urgent research on the spread of the Delta variant in the UK.
  • New Zealand is considering new restrictions amid rising infections. 
  • However, Japan is expected to lift some restrictions next month; Indonesia has seen the fewest cases since May 2020.

Africa cases update:

  • Africa’s Covid-19 cases are at 8.50 million; fatalities are at 216,054.
  • Morocco has 942,132 reported cases, Nigeria 209,298, Ghana 129,440, Kenya 252,033.
  • The WHO has indicated that just one in seven Covid infections are being detected in Africa
  • The WHO has announced a new initiative to enhance community Covid screening in eight countries in Africa. 

South Africa cases update:

  • SA has the 17th highest caseload, at 2.916 million; 414 new cases were reported yesterday.
  • Active cases are at 22,795; KwaZulu-Natal leads the way, with 8,366 active cases, followed by the Western Cape with 4,720.
  • Covid deaths rose by 25 yesterday, to 88,612; 2.80 million people (or 96.2%) have recovered from the virus.
  • 18.174 million tests have been conducted since 5 March 2020; 22,964 tests were conducted yesterday.
  • The SA positivity rate is 1.8%.

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