The health ministry has confirmed that South Africa will receive 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccines, with a million arriving in January and the rest next month.
On Thursday, Dr Zweli Mhkize confirmed that South Africa had struck a deal to procure Covid-19 vaccines for the Serum Institute of India (SII) and that the ministry was working with the country’s health regulator SAHPRA to ensure there were no delays with the rollout of the vaccines.
“We are happy that the SII/ Astra Zeneca vaccine has already been approved by various regulators and is being rolled out in other countries. Therefore, as part of expediting the regulatory process, SAHPRA is applying reliance on that regulatory work,” Mkhize said, as reported by IOL.
“We also want to inform the public that the acquisition has been done directly by the Department of Health. This strengthens the credibility of the process as all the negotiations and payment issues are managed directly by government with the manufacturer. We will now be engaging all relevant stakeholders in order to ensure the efficient and effective roll out of the vaccine for our health workers.”
Mkhize went on to urge the people of South Africa to lend their support for the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
“We urge the public to be patient with us as we continue to engage manufacturers. Our commitment remains to save and protect the lives of our people. We will not neglect our responsibility to protect lives and also fight this pandemic. We therefore call on all South Africans, members of the public, political parties, businesses, labour, NGOs and community leaders and members to work with us as we start this historic process,” Mkhize said.