Over 180 000 police officers expected to be vaccinated

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The South African Police Service (SAPS) will kick off its vaccination roll-out programme for the country’s police officers on Monday morning.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and the National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole are expected to lead the SAPS COVID-19 vaccination launch.

Cele and Sitole will be among those who will be vaccinated.

Under the programme, over 180 000 police officers are expected to be vaccinated across the country.

DISCUSSION | Vaccination for law enforcement personnel

So far, 2.5 million vaccinations have been administered using either the one-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine or the two-shot Pfizer alternative, out of a population of 60 million people.

Senior health official Nicholas Crisp more than 100 000 people had been vaccinated per day in the last two days and the target for next week was 150 000 a day. The aim for mid-July was 200 000 and 250 000 by the end of that month.

“The President has asked us to chase a target of 300 000 a day,” he said.

Kubayi-Ngubane said Pfizer had delivered nearly 4.5 million vaccine doses in the second quarter and had committed to providing just over 15.5 million doses in the third quarter.

J&J has delivered 500 000 shots for a research study targeting healthcare workers, 300 000 last week and 1.2 million on Thursday, Kubayi-Ngubane said.

A further 500 000 J&J doses are expected soon, but the timing is not yet confirmed.

“With this flow of vaccines, we will be able to press ahead with the vaccination of frontline workers sector by sector,” she said.

South Africa has started immunising health workers, those aged over 60 years, and education sector employees.

From 15 July the over-50s will start getting the vaccine.