President Cyril Ramaphosa has established an Inter-Ministerial Committee under the chairmanship of Deputy President David Mabuza to oversee the country’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout program.

Government is planning to vaccinate 40 million South Africans before the end of the year in an effort to achieve herd immunity.

The first one million doses of the vaccine destined to vaccinate frontline health workers are expected to arrive later this month.

Speaking during a webinar organised by the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the committee would assist government in ensuring that the distribution of the vaccines are well managed.

“People are therefore correct to say they want to know where are we going to get the vaccine, what they will cost, when are they arriving, who are the classes of people who are going to get the vaccines first, and the various phases we are going to go through and the distribution of the vaccines and it is in a light of this that we too in government are treating this matter as seriously as our people are. Today we established an Inter-Ministerial Committee which will be chaired by the Deputy President to ensure that the whole process of distribution of the vaccination process is well done.”

Vaccine rollout plan: 

According to the government, the vaccine is going to be rolled out in three phases. 

Phase one 

  • Front line healthcare workers (HCW). Target population: 1 250 000 

 Phase two 

  • Essential workers. Target population: 2 500 000 
  • Persons in congregate settings. Target population: 1 100 000 
  • Persons > 60 years. Target population: 5 000 000 
  • Persons >18 years with co-morbidities. Target population: 8 000 000 

Phase 3 

  • Other persons >18 years. Target population: 22 500 000 

Dr Zweli Mkhize gives more clarity on SA’s vaccine rollout:

SA has money to purchase vaccines: Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa has also allayed fears that the country does not have the money to purchase vaccines to immunise South Africans against COVID-19.

Government has been criticised for waiting too long to enter the worldwide vaccine race with fears mounting that government doesn’t have the budget to fund the biggest vaccination drive in the country’s history.

Earlier, the Director-General of National Treasury Dondo Mohajane said they might consider tax hikes to secure enough money for the vaccines.

But President Ramaphosa says the country can afford to purchase the vaccines.