SA secures 20 million Covid vaccines
Durban – In his speech during Monday's family meeting, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa had secured 20 million Covid-19 vaccines.
He said discussions with many vaccine producers were still ongoing. However, the 20 million doses would be delivered to SA throughout the course of the year, with a substantial amount being delivered in the first half of 2021.
He said SA would need 1.5 billion doses to immunise 60% of the population, which is the government's target.
Ramaphosa said the government would identify the priority groups that need to be vaccinated as the doses arrive in SA.
He said in Phase 1, the government aims to prioritise 1.2m front-line healthcare workers.
"In Phase 2, when more vaccines arrive, we will prioritise essential workers such as teachers, police, municipal workers and other front-line personnel.
’’We will also prioritise people in institutions like old age homes, shelters and prisons, people over 60 years of age and adults with co-morbidities. The total number we plan to reach in this phase is around 16 million people.
’’In Phase 3, with increased manufacturer supplies, we will then vaccinate the remaining adult population of approximately 22.5 million people.
’’We will then have reached around 40 million South Africans, which is considered to approximate herd immunity," Ramaphosa said.
He said the administration of the vaccines will be done at hospitals, clinics, outreach services and mobile clinics and at private medical facilities like doctor's offices, pharmacies and work places.
"Every vaccine that will be used in our programme will have to be approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, which applies stringent scientific standards to ensure the safety and efficacy of any drug or treatment," Ramaphosa said.
* This article was first published in iol.co.za.