Eight things you need to know about the vaccine rollout

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told parliament on Thursday that the original figure of inoculating 40-million people against Covid-19 to achieve herd immunity may have to be revised upwards. 

This follows the arrival of  80 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Based on a clinical study, the vaccine provides 85% protection against a severe case of Covid-19, 57% protection against moderate to severe illness and 100% protection against death, said the department’s deputy director-general, Anban Pillay. 

Here are the eight things you need to know about the vaccine rollout so far: 

  • Between 300 000 and 500 000 vaccines are expected to arrive in South Africa in the next two months;
  • A tender for storage of the vaccine has been advertised and the price is still to be determined;
  • R20-billion will be put aside for vaccine procurement;
  • The government is looking at ways for South Africa to manufacture its own vaccine;
  • Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Sinofarm have been approached for further vaccine procurement;
  • No private companies will be allowed to procure the vaccines; 
  • An electronic registration system will be used to determine who still needs to be vaccinated; and 
  • In April, in the second phase of the vaccine rollout, teachers and learners will be prioritised.

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Chris Gilili
Chris Gilili is a climate and environmental journalist at the Mail & Guardian’s environmental unit, covering socioeconomic issues and general news. Previously, he was a fellow at amaBhungane, the centre for investigative journalism.

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