South Africa: COVID-19 vaccine to arrive on February 1
One million coronavirus vaccine doses will arrive from India in the country on February 1, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, South African Health Minister said on Wednesday. "After the arrival of the vaccine doses via Dubai, these will undergo some processes for 10 to 14 days, after which they will be distributed among provinces," he said during a virtual press conference.
South Africa to receive further 500,00 doses in February
Dr. Mkhize had earlier announced that South Africa would receive the first batch of a million vaccine doses from India by the January-end and a further 500,000 doses in February. "Receiving one million vaccines less than a year after first COVID-19 infection was recorded is a massive achievement," the minister said as he commended the volunteers who participated in the vaccine trials.
Vaccine will be first administered to healthcare workers
The vaccine will be first administered to healthcare workers and other priority sector staff in the first phase of the campaign, which aims to vaccinate 67 percent of South Africa's 58.5 million citizens to achieve herd immunity before the end of 2021.
Government will absorb the cost of vaccination for uninsured workers
Officials said, "All health workers will receive the vaccine free of cost." Those who are insured will pay the cost through their medical aid schemes while the government will absorb the cost of vaccination for the uninsured workers, believed to be about 350,000. Businesses that want to vaccinate their employees may also do so at their workplaces and bear the costs involved.
Electronic vaccine data system will be implemented as control measure
Pharmacies with a guaranteed cold chain facility will be allowed to purchase the stock of the vaccine. They may then either claim the cost of vaccine doses administered from medical aid schemes or from the government for uninsured members. An electronic vaccine data system will be implemented as a control measure.