Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the vaccine rollout will be limited to South African citizens only. He says government does not have the capacity to assist undocumented foreign nationals.
“No one will be forced to vaccinate. Actually, we will promote it, we will explain for people to know it’s beneficial and we would like people to take their own decision on that and when you take the vaccine you sign consent so it’s clear that you consented to it.
“All you need when you go is to show that you have got an ID. You are a South African registered voter. For those who are undocumented, we are not able to deal with that because at the moment we would like to be able to deal with people based on the SA registration. So at this point, we have no plan to deal with those that are not documented,” Dr Mkhize explains.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize answers some burning questions on SABC News:
Mkhize says way more than the original 40 million-target may have to vaccinate against COVID-19 for the country to achieve herd immunity.
Mkhize says, “We are saying, to get population immunity, we calculated that we need about 67%, 70% of the population to be vaccinated. It does depend on a number of issues. One of the issues is whether we are using predominantly the vaccine that has got an efficacy of 90 or 60 and so on if that is the situation, it might change the numbers and so on. We might end up having to increase the number of people who must be vaccinated. There are still a number of issues there that we are going to clarify.”
While there has been a reduction in COVID-19 admissions in a number of provinces including Gauteng and the Western Cape, high-care and intensive care units remain under strain.
SA’s vaccination strategy:
Mediclinic’s Doctor Gerrit de Villiers, says they usually have an ICU and high-care capacity of 1 000 beds and 850 ventilators.
“ICU beds and ventilators have experienced the biggest strain, with many hospital’s ICU and high-care beds and ventilators fully occupied. Our current ventilator capacity and high-flow oxygen device capacity is under pressure as demand for this level of care continues to be very high. Currently, with the second surge of COVID-19, the total number of admitted patients admitted in some hospitals exceeded the peak of wave one with about 75%, and in some hospitals by 100%.”
Coronavirus vaccine will be administered free of charge: Professor Karim
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.
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.”
Some health workers skeptical about the vaccine: