The first COVID-19 vaccinations took place on 17 February, with President Cyril Ramaphosa receiving the vaccine. UNICEF continues to support the training of health care workers, cold chain management and ongoing communication to promote vaccine demand and to counter misinformation. To date, some 70,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated.
UNICEF South Africa’s #TheTruck multimedia activation visited six of the worst COVID-19 affected districts across KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. For the first time, the COVID-19 prevention messaging campaign included vaccine related information through the voices of local people, healthcare workers and a vaccine expert. The next stop on the campaign trail is the North West province.
UNICEF supported the Department of Social Development (DSD) on the development of a proposal for the national Treasury to advocate for the protection of early childhood development (ECD) workers, as part of the presidential stimulus package. This resulted in an allocation of nearly half a billion ZAR (Rand) that will support some 108,800 ECD related workers for a period of six months Reporting Period: 01 - 28 February 2021 Community engagement teams prepare to head out with #TheTruck as it plays pre-recorded COVID-19 prevention and vaccine promotion messages on its visit to Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.
As of 28 February, South Africa recorded 1,513,393 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 49,993 deaths. A total of 54,685 healthcare workers have tested positive, with 779 deaths.
The first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country on 01 February but the start of the vaccination roll-out was delayed, as the country sought to source and start its campaign with Johnson & Johnson vaccines that were reported to be more effective against the new 501.V2 COVID-19 variant in the country.
South Africa is aiming to vaccinate 67% of the population during 2021, some 40 million eligible people. This includes procurement of vaccines through the UNICEF, WHO and GAVI supported COVAX facility to cover around 10% of the population.
UNICEF participated in the launch of the 2020 Child Gauge under the theme ‘Food & Nutrition Security’ with the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town. Findings from the report indicate that COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns risk undoing years of progress in child malnutrition, with nearly 1 in 3 children living below the food poverty line.