Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says the COVID-19 vaccines being procured by the government will be administered free of charge.

With the first batch of vaccines expected to be delivered by the end of this month, Karim says the country is progressing past the peak of the second wave of infections, which now seems to be on a downward trend.

He says funding for the vaccines will come from Treasury and various medical aid schemes.

“The vaccines that are being purchased for COVID-19, they are being purchased centrally by the government. The vaccines, as far as I understand, are being provided free to anyone who is being vaccinated. The actual funding is coming from the Treasury and the medical aids are also contributing to the cost, but to the person receiving it, there is no cost at all. “

Will South Africans get vaccinated? 

According to the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) COVID Democracy Survey, two-thirds of adults are willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The analysis is based on more than 10 000 completed questionnaires that were weighted by race, education, and age, making findings broadly representative of the total adult population.

Professor Kate Alexander, South African Research Chair in Social Change at the University of Johannesburg.

“Fifty-two percent definitely would take a COVID-19 vaccine if it was available. 14% probably would. 12% definitely would not. 6% probably would not. And 15% are don’t knows. It’s a very significant number of people wanting to take the vaccine and this is an important figure partly because it’s higher than figures that have come out in other recent surveys and partly, because it begins to take us towards the point where one can see the possibility of there being herd immunity or population immunity if the vaccine becomes available in the near future,” says Professor Kate Alexander, South African Research Chair in Social Change at the University of Johannesburg.

Some health workers sceptical about the vaccine: 

SA on track to receive the vaccines

South Africa expects to receive 1,5 million doses from India’s Serum Institute at the end of January. Yesterday, Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize said South Africa is on track to receive COVID-19 vaccines on the agreed-upon date.

Mkhize said the government is negotiating for another batch of vaccines from various manufacturers.

“I did say it will be arriving in January. The real challenge is the day-to-day changes with signatures, but we are assured of the date we have agreed upon. As soon as the vaccines come, we will then start the vaccination programme in February. Our plans are on course, that we will be able to take our health workers through on that programme. We are anticipating a million and next month we are expecting another 500 000. The rest of the dosages will be announced once the agreements are confirmed.”

Frontline workers will be prioritised.

SA’s vaccination strategy: