South Africa’s two major pharmacy chains, Clicks and Dis-Chem, both plan to roll-out COVID-19 vaccines at their locations as soon as they are widely available in the country.

The groups also have plans to provide storage and distribution facilities for the vaccines and are awaiting further details from the government.

This comes after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday [January 3] called on the private sector, including pharmacies, to assist with the vaccine rollout. However, the government has not yet provided details on how exactly the vaccine will rollout.

Dis-Chem will offer the vaccines at all its clinics nationwide and is also considering having them on offer at their eight drive-through testing stations, Dis-Chem National Clinic Manager Lizeth Kruger told Reuters.

Kruger added that Dis-Chem will be involved with the vaccine roll-out when the second phase begins.

In an email response to Reuters, Clicks also confirmed that they are “immediately ready for the distribution and administration of vaccines.”

On Thursday [January 7], Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that the Serum Institute of India (SII) has confirmed the delivery of 1-million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine in January and 500 000 doses in February. These vaccines will be administered to the country’s frontline healthcare workers.

These will be the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in the country, with more discussions happening between the government and vaccine distributors.

Picture: Killarney Mall

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