South Africa secures 1.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine

Over a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India will arrive in January with an additional 500,000 in February.

Mkhize disclosed to parliamentarians details of the much-anticipated vaccine rollout for the Covid-19 vaccine. 

He could confidently confirm the good news after the Serum Institute of India (SII) gave the go-ahead that prompted the government to begin engaging stakeholders that will participate in the rollout. 

Teams from the National Department of Health alongside the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority have fine-tuned and aligned all regulatory processes in a manner that ensures no unnecessary delays or regulatory impediments are experienced. 

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The Government estimates that 1.25 million health workers will be prioritized in the private and public healthcare sectors for this vaccine. Those in close contact with patients will receive the first doses. According to the Minister, the process has been done properly under close direction from the Department of Health. 

Close attention was given to this order, even President Cyril Ramaphose promised the procurement process will not be mired by corruption. 

The government’s vaccination plan has lately faced criticism in the past weeks. Mkhize argued that everything still remains under control and hopes to manage the situation to the best of his ability. Once the vaccination process begins, he believes they won’t be far away from other countries across the globe.

Also read:  Covid-19: Tighter restrictions as South Africa hit by a second wave of infections

To enable a phased approach, the vaccine stock will be sorted accordingly with health workers being the first on the queue. All those regarded as essential to the proper functioning of society will be prioritized in the first round of vaccination, i.e teachers, retail food workers, law enforcement, teachers, workers, and miners. 

People at the highest risk of adverse outcome such as the elderly over 60 and other with comorbidities will be prioritized. In a reminder to parliament, Mkhize said the second wave will be worse than the first one.