The Limpopo MEC for Health, Phophi Ramathuba has announced that her department will soon launch the Covid-19 booster campaign in anticipation of the so-called “fifth wave”. This campaign will kick off in the Vhembe District today, the 6th of April.

This comes as the department is reportedly worried by the increase in the seven day average of new Covid 19 cases from 11 to 28. According to the department, Covid-19 vaccination remains a key public health prevention intervention for the pandemic.

The department said that during the recent “fourth wave”, their analysis report showed significant decline in mortality and hospitalisation.

“With the anticipated fifth wave which will be driven by a new variant, Omicron variant B4 and B5 recently reported in South Africa, recent data suggest that the booster shot offers extra protection from these emerging variants,” the department said in their official statement.

“The purpose of this planned campaign is to improve booster uptake amongst the high-risk population and improve vaccine uptake to the younger age cohorts. Our current observation is that we are facing decreasing immunity among population from both natural and vaccine induced immunity as compared to during the fourth wave hence it is important for the people to know that booster doses provides extra protection from breakthrough infections, and that boosted persons are more likely to have mild infection. We therefore call upon people to take this opportunity and visit our vaccination sites to get their booster shots”, said MEC Ramathuba.

***Editor’s comment: Ironically, this is the same MEC who made the bold statement at the recent Tuffy marathon that she cannot remember ever signing a death certificate for anyone who was a runner. (No, I’m not joking, she said this three times during a live stream over the department’s Facebook page). This despite an MEC not signing death certificates, and the deceased’s death certificate not stating whether they were athletes or not. This same Health Department cannot adequately manage their own hospitals, and has yet to update us on the latest developments regarding the hospital in Phalaborwa which they allegedly refurbished to be utilized as a Covid wing. But we need to trust our wellbeing is in good hands.