First batch of Covid-19 vaccines en route from India

1st February 2021 By: Sashnee Moodley - Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia

First batch of Covid-19 vaccines en route from India

Photo by: Reuters

South Africa’s first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in the country on Monday, from the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer.

One-million doses of the long-awaited Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be rolled out to frontline health workers, as part of government’s phased approach to distributing vaccines.

The consignment will arrive at OR Tambo International Airport, in Gauteng, and will be received by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President David Mabuza, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, acting minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Biovac CEO Dr Morena Makhoana and Indian High Commissioner Jaideep Sarkar.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines, chaired by Mabuza, will coordinate the vaccine programme, the aim during the first phase being to vaccinate 1.2-million frontline workers, with the ultimate aim of achieving herd immunity across the population.

“The arrival of the first consignment at OR Tambo International Airport marks the start of the vaccine rollout which President Ramaphosa describes as the largest and most complex logistical vaccine undertaking in South Africa’s country’s history,” the Presidency said.