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Roll-Out of COVID-19 Vaccination Plan on Track

February 25, 2021

Department of Health

23 059 Health Care Workers (HCW) were vaccinated by the end of 22 February 2021.

The health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, confirmed this during an address at the social transformation cluster on the roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccination plan.

The minister added that government is on course to complete the first 40 000 HCW by Wednesday and the provinces have committed to the target of 80 000 vaccines completed two weeks from the date of arrival.

The minister also announced that the next batch of 80 000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines will arrive on Saturday, 27 February 2021.

According to the minister, government opted to diversify the approach to “vaccines procurement by engaging through various mechanisms – bilaterally through continuous engagements with individual manufacturers; multilaterally through the COVAX facility and regionally through the African Union’s Vaccine Financing and Vaccine Acquisition Task Team”.

The minister also confirmed that government is selling the Astra Zeneca stock to the African Union and not donating the vaccines thereby preventing wasteful or fruitless expenditure.

“We have learnt from the AU that these will be distribute to about 20 countries in the continent, who will be in a position to begin protecting their frontline health care workers. This is a win win situation”, he said.

Government has also proposed that “Johnson and Johnson be preferentially deployed to the southern regions of Africa so that we can rapidly deal with the variant that is predominating in South Africa and some parts of SADC”.

The minister confirmed that the Electronic Vaccine Data System has seen over 500 000 registrations to date.

The minister announced that the health department and national treasury have “concluded a proposal that will provide for a mechanism to compensate any citizen who suffers an adverse effect from the Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer vaccine”.

More detail will be provided by the finance minister during Budget 2021.