Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that government was hoping to vaccinate about 80% of the elderly population against COVID-19 before the end of the year.
More than 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in South Africa, meaning over a quarter of the adult population is fully inoculated.
Phaahla said that the younger age groups were still not turning up in their numbers at vaccine sites as they would have hoped.
“We still know that, especially with the Delta variant, that the age distribution has been going to the lower age groups, which are still of concern, but the higher risk is with the older [age groups]. We’ve been saying that if we could get up to 80% coverage of the 50 years and older age groups, that would be quite a huge protection.”
Teenagers will be eligible to get their jabs from Wednesday.
Phaahla said that there were many benefits for the entire country if teenagers were also protected.