SA’s Covid-19 vaccine programme to be announced in the coming weeks
By Rudolph Nkgadima 12m ago
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In the coming weeks, government will announce when its programme of mass vaccination against Covid-19 will begin, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has revealed.
Mkhize announced this during an interview on SABC’s Morning Live on Monday.
“We are going through a lot of negotiations now to get access to some of these vaccines and we will certainly be able to get some of those vaccines in the earlier part of next year beginning or end of the first quarter,” Mkhize said
“We haven’t got something concrete right now but in the next few weeks we will be able to announce something based on when we are able to get the orders sorted.
“Our first target will be our health workers then the vulnerable groups. At the moment there’s a lot of behind the scenes work to mobilise for additional resources,” he said.
South Africa’s Solidarity Fund, which was established as an independent, rapid-release vehicle in March to mobilise resources to assist in the fight against Covid-19, has already paid out R327 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) Covax facility – the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for all countries — to acquire the vaccine.
The down payment is meant to secure the treatment for 10% of the country’s population. However, there is still no clarity on when the treatment will arrive in South Africa.
Mkhize also set the record straight following media reports about the country having missed the December 15 deadline to pay the deposit necessary to secure Covax vaccine supplies.
“We have seen many speculations about South Africa missing the dates. Let me just say that all that there was in this situation was that there was behind the scenes negotiations to try and sort out certain things like guarantees.
“In this case we have paid the deposit into the Covax facility and we are awaiting for the Covax facility to deliver,” he said.