- President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines is set to arrive in SA soon
- The President says this is a signal that the start of a 'mass vaccination campaign' in SA looms
- Ramaphosa shed some insight into how this phased approach to the distribution of the vaccine will take place
President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that SA will soon be receiving its first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines.
This batch will be received from the Serum Institute in India, currently the world's largest vaccine producer.
Ramaphosa announced that the campaign will be arranged in a phased approach on Monday:
"It will signal the start of a mass vaccination campaign that will be the most ambitious and extensive in our country’s history. It will reach all parts of the country and will be phased to ensure that those most in need are prioritised."
The President detailed who will be prioritised in the different stages of the campaign drive:
"The first vaccines to arrive will be provided to health care workers, who will be targeted in the first phase. The second phase will include essential workers, teachers, the elderly and those with co-morbidities. The third phase will include other adults in the population."
Ramaphosa assured the nation that, through extensive negotiations and despite the higher buying power of other countries, SA will be receiving sufficient vaccines.
While the task ahead remains immense, the President concluded by signalling his confidence in the nation's ability:
"We have a massive task ahead of us, probably far greater than any of us has ever undertaken before. But if we work together, if we support and trust each other and if we keep the lines of communication open, we will certainly succeed."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that experts have warned that if the Covid-19 vaccine does not make to South Africa in time, a third and possibly deadlier wave of the virus might ravage the country.
Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist, warned that if a third wave did hit, it would be too late to administer the vaccine to high-risk groups if there is a delay.
A number of experts who have been side-lined, including Glenda Gray, a South African Medical Research Council president professor, said that there was no clear date when the vaccines programme will be rolled out.
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