The Department of Health will on February 5 issue a tender for the storage and distribution of South Africa’s coronavirus vaccines.

Department of Health Director-General Sandile Buthelezi told Reuters that the qualifying bidders will be involved in phase two and three of the country’s vaccine programme.

Buthelezi says the tender will be open to all eligible companies.

The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from India is expected to arrive in SA on Monday:

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced earlier this week that the first batch of one million doses of the vaccine will arrive in the country from the Serum Institute of India, on Monday.

Partly state-owned Biovac has been contracted to import, store and distribute these doses.

Meanwhile, scientists have confirmed that the coronavirus variant discovered in the UK has now also been identified in South Africa.

The video below looks at SA’s readiness to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine: