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23 percent jabbed

. . . as govt targets 80 percent milestone by year end

Limpho Sello

LESOTHO has vaccinated 478 182 people against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) said the figure represents 23, 9 percent of the country’s 2, 1 million people. Having comfortably surpassed the World Health Organisation (WHO) target for countries to have vaccinated at least 10 percent of their populations by the end of September 2021, the buoyant NACOSEC is now gunning for another milestone. This time the secretariat has set its sights on jabbing 80 percent of the population by year-end. This is double the 40 percent benchmark set by the global health body.

Delivering an update on the Covid-19 situation in the country yesterday, NACOSEC Deputy CEO, Thabo Ntoi, said 35 469 people were jabbed last week as part of the ongoing mass vaccination programme.

He said until last week, the average of people getting jabbed was about 20 000 per week. He attributed the increase to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s recent announcement that the country will soon be introducing Covid-19 passports under which sporting events, social activities and some services will only be accessed by people who have been fully vaccinated.

The passports will come into effect on 1 November 2021.

Speaking on the mass vaccination programme in an interview with the Sunday Express yesterday, Mr Ntoi said, the public’s positive response had given them confidence that they could meet their ambitious target of jabbing at least 80 percent of the population by the end of the year.

Last month, NACOSEC and the Ministry of Health decided to take the vaccination campaign to the taxi ranks where taxi drivers, vendors and other people often congregate in large numbers.

“We have also taken the campaign to the churches as we keep exploring ways to improve our community outreach to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated.

“All these efforts are being undertaken to ensure that we reach our vaccination targets for the year. If we attain our target, this will enable full scale economic activities to resume and help our economy to recover,” Mr Ntoi said.

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