Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize has sought to allay fears of some South Africans who said they would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine.

Mkhize says there’s absolutely no reason for people to be concerned over possible side effects after receiving the COVID-19 jab. This as the country has received the first consignment of the vaccines.

The first batch of one million doses of AstraZeneca landed at OR Tambo International Airport Monday afternoon: 

The first one million shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be used to inoculate healthcare workers amid a surge in infections.

Mkhize says this is a milestone for the country. “Yes we are very happy and we are looking forward to the reception. But we are quite happy that we have got the first million coming through. We have indicated that we would like to get them coming earlier and it’s happening now. So we are really excited about it. We will spend a lot of time focusing on sending the correct message about vaccines we need to make sure that debunked myths about the vaccine and all the suspicions need to be cleared. Everyone needs to understand that vaccines are here to help all of us. Those who have worries and concerns, we hope a vaccination program will clear all of that.”

Health Minister says procuring the first one million shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been a huge challenge for the country, due to global vaccine demand.

The health department says the vaccine is expected to undergo a rigorous, multi-stage testing process to ensure its safe for use.

Healthcare frontline workers will be the first to be inoculated amid a surge in infections.