During his speech on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa has secured 20 million Covid-19 vaccines.
The President announced that, while discussions with producers have been ongoing, the Covid-19 vaccine will be distributed throughout South Africa over the course of the year, with most arriving in the first half of the year. And, with 1.5 billion doses required to immunise the 40 million people (67%) required, the priority groups for the first phase of the vaccine roll-out have been identified.
The first group in South Africa to receive Covid-19 vaccines will be approximately 1.2 million frontline healthcare workers. Next in line will be teachers, police, the elderly and municipal workers
“In Phase 2, when more vaccines arrive, we will prioritise essential workers such as teachers, police, municipal workers and other front-line personnel,” he said, as reported by IOL. “We will also prioritise people in institutions like old age homes, shelters and prisons, people over 60 years of age and adults with co-morbidities. The total number we plan to reach in this phase is around 16 million people.
Phase 3 will then involve immunising the remainder of the adult population.
“In Phase 3, with increased manufacturer supplies, we will then vaccinate the remaining adult population of approximately 22.5 million people. We will then have reached around 40 million South Africans, which is considered to approximate herd immunity,” Ramaphosa said.
The need for Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa has never been greater, at this stage with the country recording its worst figures in deaths and infections at the moment as the crisis begins to spiral out of control.