Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says a minimum of 67% of SA’s population will be vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity.
According to the Health Department’s vaccine rollout strategy, three phases of vaccination will be observed. Healthcare workers would be vaccinated first, followed by essential workers and people over 60 and those with co-morbidities in the second phase.
The rollout is expected to begin in April, but the government hopes to be able to start it sooner.
Dr Mkhize has warned that the COVAX agreement will only cover 10% of the population, and that government will have to raise money to cover the remaining 57% who need to be vaccinated.
Head of Internal Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Bulie Magula explains:
Meanwhile, the health minister has explained the reasons for going the COVAX route in search of a vaccine. He says the government now wants to negotiate for the earlier delivery of the coronavirus vaccine.
Mkhize says government has not only put in place clear plans, but it is also ready to start to actively negotiate.
“COVID is in place, we’re hoping that it will be able to deliver by April. This earlier delivery, here we are taking our chance, we’re fighting, we are negotiating, we are trying everything we can. Right now we are dealing with about four companies that we are targeting because of various advantages. For example, Moderna, Pfizer, those have shown to have high efficacy and we’ll then engage them to see is it that can be found.”
Mkhize addresses webinar on COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Strategy for South Africa:
COVID-19 Vaccine plan:
In the video below, South African experts discuss COVID-19 vaccines: