Over 50% of Western Cape residents innoculated with flu vaccine

With the increase of people getting infected with influenza in South Africa, the Western Cape’s Health & Wellness Department has encouraged residents to get the flu vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that nationally determined high-risk populations should be vaccinated against flu. High-risk groups include pregnant women (at particular risk of severe influenza pneumonia), people with HIV and other causes of immune suppression, people with chronic lung, neurological or cardiac disease, metabolic diseases such as diabetes and morbid obesity, the elderly (65 and older) and healthcare workers.

PICTURE: Pixabay

As of 1 June, the Western Cape has administered close to 70 000 flu vaccines. This means that over 50% has been vaccinated in the province, since the start of the influenza vaccination programme in April 2023.

SCREENSHOT of flu vaccines administered in the Western Cape

Charlene Lawrence, Deputy Director of Communicable Disease Control, at the Western Cape’s Health & Wellness Department, encouraged those who have not gotten the flu vaccine to do so.

‘’While we are pleased with the outcomes of the vaccination programme to date, those unvaccinated residents who are vulnerable to waning immunity and serious illness are encouraged to vaccinate without delay.’’

‘’Maintaining high levels of immunity by being up-to-date with influenza vaccination is one of the best decisions that we can take to be safe this winter. This is particularly important due to an increased risk of the flu circulating over the next months. We expect that more people are likely to get sick from the flu due to more indoor gatherings, and less immunity to the flu,’’ she added.

The flu vaccine is free at Western Cape’s healthcare facilities to people who have comorbidities and suffer from serious illness. Those individuals not eligible for free vaccination can still get it via their private doctor, or pharmacy.


Lawrence reminded residents that the flu vaccine has a proven safety record and in rare instances only causes very mild reactions, such as soreness at the injection site, mild fever, or headache. Getting the flu vaccine does not mean you won’t contract the illness, but rather prevent it from severe illness.


Done By: Mitchum George


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