With this in mind, on Sunday 30 May, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a return to Level 2 lockdown regulations as well as other measures in an attempt to protect South Africans.
Experts say the magnitude of the surge will depend on the pace of vaccinations, the willingness of the public to abide by physical distancing and other public health measures, and the extent to which the virus creates new variants.
The second wave was driven by the emergence of the new variant, 501Y.V2, which was more transmissible than the initial variant. As the virus keeps mutating, there remains the possibility of additional variants, which may be able to bypass immunisation, and may also be more transmissible.
That’s why we must ensure that we are all:
- Wearing our masks
- Washing our hands
- keeping our distance
Avoiding crowds, confined spaces and close contact also remain important in infection prevention. A third wave is likely, but our behaviour as individuals can help to reduce its impact and save lives.
Safety of the COVID-19 vaccines
Countries around the world are rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, and a key topic of interest is their safety. Like all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines have gone through a rigorous, multi-stage testing process, that include large clinical trials with tens of thousands of people. These trials are specifically designed to identify any safety concerns.
COVID-19 vaccines have been tested in large, randomised controlled trials that include people of a broad age range, both sexes, different ethnicities, and those with known medical conditions. The vaccines have shown a high level of efficacy across all populations and have been found to be safe and effective. All vaccines that are currently allowed in South Africa are safe, effective and reduce your risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 illness.
Fedhealth playing its part in getting vaccines administered
Fedhealth through our administrator, Medscheme, and the AfroCentric Health Group, is doing its bit to get vaccines administered, in the form of world-class vaccination sites* that have been set up in Cape Town, Durban, Florida and Louwlardia.
Important: Current regulations dictate that ALL vaccination sites need to be open to ALL South African citizens to ensure that everyone has equal and fair access to the vaccine. This includes sites created by other private companies and medical aid administrators.
The EVDS system will allocate you to a vaccination site that’s near or close to you, so this could mean that a Fedhealth member might be vaccinated at an AfroCentric (Fedhealth) site OR at another private entity’s site.
Fedhealth continues to engage with the NDoH about allocating our members to our own sites. However, currently no entity can allocate specific groups to its own sites.
We will continue to update you as soon as there are any developments.
While we wait for the vaccination process to unfold, we ask that you visit the Fedhealth COVID-19 Vaccine Support Portal. Completing the COVID-19 Vaccine Support Form will help us to see where you’d prefer to get your vaccine, for when we are allowed to allocate our own members to our own sites.
While every effort is made to ensure that communication is aligned to the most recent guidelines and/or expert recommendations, and given the rapid pace at which new evidence is being updated, we cannot guarantee the relevance of content following the distribution of this communication. Updated communication will be provided via our COVID-19 Portal on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available.
* We are dependent on the NDoH to supply the vaccines.