South Africans have been very concerned about the confusing situation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in the country. The Department of Health released new information regarding the arrival of doses in the country.
Health Minister Dr 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 will be the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in the country, which is currently lagging behind in the vaccination process.
Today, I am pleased to announce that the Serum Institute of India (SII) has given us permission to make a public announcement and start en-
gaging with all relevant stakeholders in preparation for the roll out. #COVIDVaccineSA
— Department of Health: COVID-19 (@COVID_19_ZA) January 7, 2021
A new development in the roll-out brings hope, especially for health care workers who will be among the first vaccinated in the country.
Mkhize explained that at a previous press briefing he could not disclose these details as a result of non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses. However, with permission from the SII, the exact number has now been released.
This acquisition was done directly by the Department of Health, which will begin engaging with stakeholders on an efficient vaccination drive for health care workers once the vaccines arrive.
“We urge the public to be patient with us as we continue to engage manufacturers. Our commitment remains to save and protect the lives of our people. We will not neglect our responsibility to protect lives and also fight this pandemic,” Mkhize said in a statement.
“We, therefore, call on all South Africans, members of the public, political parties, business, labour, NGOs and community leaders and members to work with us as we start this historic process.”