EXPLAINER: South Africa’s vaccine rollout strategy

VACCINE ROLL OUT - EXPLAINER: South Africa’s vaccine rollout strategy

South Africa getting ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the priority will be given to the country’s more than one million healthcare workers in both the private and public sectors.

Mkhize made these assertions while briefing Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health on the rollout strategy of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said, “I am pleased to announce that the institute of India has given us permission to make a public announcement in preparation for the rollout to 1.25 million health workers to both private and public health workers…”

South Africa will receive the first 1 million doses of vaccine in January and another 500 000 in February our teams are fine-tuning all the regulation processes,” added Mkhize.

In the Explainer below, we breakdown the South African government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy as the country gets ready to receive 1 million doses of the vaccine:


‘Herd immunity’

The outline of the strategy was further explained by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address to the nation on Monday, amid a surge in infection and fatality numbers in the country, due to the second wave of the COVID-19, which is gripping the country.

Ramaphosa said, “When enough people are vaccinated, we will reach what is known as ‘herd immunity’ or ‘population immunity.’ This is when enough of the population is immune to the virus to provide indirect protection to those who aren’t immune, bringing the spread of the virus under control.”

South Africa has secured 20 million doses to be delivered in the first half of 2021, the President said.

Mkhize also said that the government was approaching medical aid schemes and the business sector for assistance to obtain funding for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

He said around 70% of the population will need to be vaccinated in order to break the cycle of transmission.

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