Clicks, Dis-Chem to assist government roll out COVID-19 vaccine

SABC News COVID Vaccine R - Clicks, Dis-Chem to assist government roll out COVID-19 vaccine

The Clicks Group and Dis-Chem Pharmacies, say they are willing to assist government in the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine once it arrives.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said the vaccine, which has been procured from India, will arrive in the country in two batches in January and February.

South Africa to receive AstraZeneca vaccine from India:

In the first phase, frontline healthcare workers will receive the vaccination, with the second phase focusing on essential workers such as teachers and those over 60.

Government plans to vaccinate at least 40 million people within a year to achieve herd immunity.

At the weekend, Dr Mkhize called on the private sector, including pharmacies, to help with the rollout but failed to specify in what way.  Dis-Chem and Clicks have a combined dispensary market share of 45%.

Dis-Chem National Clinic Manager, Lizeth Kruger, says they will offer the vaccines at all the company’s clinics nationwide. The retailer is also looking to offer them at its eight drive-through COVID-19 testing stations.

For its part, Clicks says its network is immediately ready for the distribution and administration of vaccines.

Clicks runs South Africa’s biggest drug distribution and bulk and wholesale supplier, called United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD), which currently services Aspen Pharmacare.  Aspen is involved in the packaging of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Strategy for South Africa:

Healthworkers

Earlier on Friday, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) said it intends working with various stakeholders to ensure that healthcare workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

SAMA Chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee says they are negotiating with pharmacies and doctors to ensure that healthcare workers are the first to receive the vaccine when it becomes available in the country.

“We are going to work all together. Come up with the plan and we already this afternoon we are going to have the meeting with Business Unity South Africa where we are going to see how we are going to start the roll out in the private sector once the vaccine arrives in the country.”

Dr Coetzee has urged authorities to act should there be any corruption in the procurement of the vaccine. – Additional reporting by Maluti Obuseng. 

The post Clicks, Dis-Chem to assist government roll out COVID-19 vaccine appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

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