The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine is scheduled to land in South Africa on Monday, February 1. According to the Department of Health deputy director-general Dr Anban Pillay, some of the country’s key politicians could be first in line to receive the jab.
In an interview with the SABC on Monday, Pillay said key government workers will be included in phase 2 of the vaccine roll-out. However, there has been a recommendation that key leaders get the jab before healthcare workers to help reassure the public of the vaccine’s safety.
It is likely that President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his cabinet will be among those key leaders, following trends in the US where President Joe Biden received the vaccine live on air.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize revealed that the country will receive another 20-million vaccine doses from Pfizer. This brings the total number of vaccines on order to over 42-million.
The first doses will arrive in South Africa on Monday, February 1 at OR Tambo International Airport. From then, the first vaccine will roll out within 10 days and two weeks’ time. More vaccine order announcements will be made once details are finalised.
Mkhize confirmed that taxi drivers will also be included in phase 2, as well as those working in hotels and restaurants.
Taxi drivers will be included in phase2, those working in hotels, restaurants etc too. @FullViewSABC
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) January 30, 2021
South Africa plans on using a completely paperless system to manage and monitor the COVID-19 vaccination process. This system is called the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) and is expected to go live when the vaccine roll-out begins early in February.