President Cyril Ramaphosa will receive South Africa’s first consignment of vaccine doses on Monday afternoon.
- President Cyril Ramaphosa will receive SA’s first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine doses on Monday afternoon.
- The vaccine has been produced by the Serum Institute of India, under licence from AstraZeneca.
- The one million doses are expected to be rolled out to healthcare workers.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will personally receive South Africa’s first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine doses when it arrives on Monday afternoon.
One million “Covishield” doses, produced under licence from AstraZeneca by the Serum Institute of India, are expected to arrive at OR Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg at around 15:00.
Ramaphosa will be joined at the airport by Deputy President David Mabuza and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, along with other dignitaries.
“The arrival of the first consignment at OR Tambo International Airport marks the start of the vaccine rollout, which President Ramaphosa describes as the largest and most complex logistical vaccine undertaking in South Africa’s history,” Tyrone Seale, Ramaphosa’s acting spokesperson, said.
“The scale of delivery is unprecedented in terms of the number of people who have to be reached within a short space of time,” Seale said.
Also on site to receive the vaccine doses, will be Dr Morena Makhoana, chief executive officer of Biovac.
Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company formed in 2003 in a partnership between government and private investors to establish local vaccine manufacturing capability. It will play an important role in the quality assurance, warehousing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
The vaccine doses will first be stored and tested and then rolled out through Biovac and other distributors to recipients in the first phase of the country’s immunisation programme.
“The aim of the vaccination programme is to achieve immunity across the population. The first phase of this rollout programme will prioritise around 1.2 million frontline health workers,” Seale said.
Another 500 000 vaccine doses are expected to arrive later this month.