As registration for Covid-19 vaccination opens for those aged 35 years and above, over one million people have registered on the government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) portal in 24 hours, acting minister of health Mmamoloko Nkhensani Kubayi confirmed on Thursday evening.

The national vaccination programme has continued across South Africa despite violent protests which resulted in the temporary closure of some sites in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, Department of Health national spokesperson Popo Maja said.

“I registered online last night and got an SMS notification. Decided to take a chance at CTICC but they were only taking bookings/appointments,” Cape Town resident Evan Lee told the African News Agency (ANA).

“Went to Old Mutual in Pinelands as a walk in. Showed them my SMS. Went to the verification stand to give my details. And then I went through the whole process and got my first jab. No hassles. Arrived at 10am and was out by 11.30am.”

“I was assisted by friendly and professional (healthworkers). The jab wasn’t painful at all, I feel 100% and no side effects. The whole process, including the mandatory observation period, took about 55 minutes,” another resident said.

The vaccination rollout will take place in three phases to provide vaccinations to a minimum of 67 percent of the population in an effort to achieve herd immunity to Covid-19. The country remains the epicentre of the pandemic on the African continent, with over 2.2 million infections recorded since March 2020.

The latest data shows over 4.2 million South African residents have received at least one vaccination dose.

As of Thursday, July 16, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in the country stands at 2 253 240, with 16 435 new cases reported. An additional 377 deaths have been reported, bringing the total to 65 972.

The cumulative number of recoveries is now at 1 982 122, translating to a recovery rate of 88.0%, according to the department of health.

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