Freshly vaccinated Acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi on Friday morning said taking the vaccine remains voluntary.
Giving an update on the vaccination progress in South Africa, Kubayi reiterated that the jabs do not necessarily prevent catching Covid-19 but they lower the severity of the disease.
Kubayi took her first Pfizer jab on Thursday night at Sun City, in the North West Province.
The acting health minister said this week on Monday South Africa reached the grim milestone of 70 000 Covid-19 deaths. More than 500 people died of Covid-19 in the latest daily count.
Kubayi warned that more new infections would inevitably lead to more deaths.
The biggest weapon against the disease is the jab.
Although there was a hiccup this week that resulted in people being turned away, the acting minister said there were now enough vaccine doses to meet “our needs”.
Kubayi added: “We have received more vaccines from J&J [Johnson & Johnson ].”
She said while President Cyril Ramaphosa set a target of 300 000 vaccines a day, the actual number achieved was not far off at 220 000 daily jabs.
The acting minister also pointed out that the daily number of new cases had declined to 13 751 down from 17 331 the day before.
“New cases are on a downward trend,” said Kubayi.
However, new infection numbers in the Western Cape have overtaken Gauteng, she said.
The acting health minister said more vaccines were on their way.