SOUTH AFRICA. Johannesburg: The South African government has said that it is planning to administer 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by February 2021. South Africa’s Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize confirmed this in a press statement released on January 7 which was made available to Transcontinental Times.
Mkhize said that around one million COVID-19 vaccine doses will be made available in South Africa by January. The remaining 500,000 vaccines will be made available to the people in February. “1.25 million health care workers from both public and private hospitals will be prioritized”, said the minister.
The Serum Insititute of India(SII) has given permission to the South African government to start making a public announcement regarding the rolling out of the vaccine. Previously, the two entities had agreed upon not disclosing any details regarding the program.
Who will be the key stakeholders?
The National Department of Health and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) are working on regulatory processes to ensure there are no delays once the program starts.
Mkhize provided an assurance that there would be no corruption as the deal was done directly between the government and the manufacturer. Along with this, Mkhize also provided details of how the rollout would occur.
Meanwhile, Mkhize has pleaded with the people of South Africa to exercise patience as the government continues to engage vaccine manufactures. “Our commitment remains to save and protect the lives of our people”, he said.
A pandemic on rampage
Till January 6, South Africa has registered over 20,000 new cases within a 24 hour period. 31,368 had died since the pandemic reached the ‘Rainbow Nation’. 1,149,591 positive cases had so far been registered with 929,239 recoveries, the highest statistics in Africa. South Africa is now battling with a second wave and a new variant of the virus.