However, vaccination numbers were still falling short of the daily target of 300,000 set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and on Thursday only 220,000 doses were administered.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Phaahla.
So far, 15.7-million doses have been administered, 11.2-million people (28% of the adult population) have had at least one jab and 7.7-million people (almost 20% of adults) are fully inoculated.
The rate of vaccinations – 184,000 a day in the past seven days – will need to be sustained to achieve the government target of 70% coverage among adults by Christmas.
“There will be a fourth wave, so the question is: what will we do before it comes?” said Phaahla.
“If we can get close to a minimum of 60%, we will have a good Christmas. If we can ramp up the vaccinations, we can get back to the lives we are all missing.”