Impressive local vaccination rates have plateaued



Vaccination rates in Makana are very pleasing, but demand has dropped significantly, according to the Head of the Makana Health Department, Mohamed Docrat.

In Makana, an impressive but puzzling, 105% of the targeted population over 50 years old has been vaccinated, according to statistics released to Grocott’s Mail on Tuesday 30 November. And 84% of 35-49 year-olds have received the jab.

Docrat says the numbers are slightly skewed because some of the vaccinations credited to Makana were administered in Ndlambe (Port Alfred, Kenton and surrounding areas).

Mohamed Docrat is the Health Department’s
Makana Subdistrict head. Photo: Sue Maclennan

Makhanda acts as a distribution centre, and some vaccines were distributed from Makhanda distribution sites (Settler’s Day Hospital and Settler’s Hospital) to Ndlambe. The Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) system credits Makana with those vaccinations.

When read together, the numbers for the two districts are pleasing, but Docrat feels the district needs an urgent strategy to increase demand.

Municipality Age group Targeted population Vaccinated Percentage of population
Makana 12-17 8 739 2 677 31%
Makana 18-34 23 874 12 835 54%
Makana 35-49 15 514 13 046 84%
Makana 50-59 7 631 8 033 105%
Makana 60+ 8 152 8 543 105%
Ndlambe 12-17 6 360 1 296 20%
Ndlambe 18-34 16 396 2 703 16%
Ndlambe 35-49 14 169 3 022 21%
Ndlambe 50-59 7 133 2 788 39%
Ndlambe 60+ 10 415 5 650 54%


While there are currently just four active Covid-19 cases in Makana, a fourth Omicron-driven Covid-19 wave is imminent.

In October, Rhodes University announced that all university staff, students, and visitors would require digital vaccination certificates or vaccination cards upon entering the campus as face-to-face teaching resumes in 2022.

The Rhodes Council endorsed a vaccination mandate rule to enable the resumption of face-to-face university teaching, learning and research, said Rhodes senior communications officer Velisile Bukula in an official statement.

Bukula said the decision was based on analysing the law and information drawn from the higher education sector. “Having assessed risks, Rhodes University had a responsibility to ensure that employees and students are protected and that all the necessary precautionary measures are in place,” the statement said.

A reminder that R200 Vooma Vouchers are available to all 50+ residents vaccinating for the first time.

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