South Africa Receives First Batch Of Covid Vaccine
NEWSMAN – South Africa on Monday took delivery of its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines, (AstraZeneca) produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), a move paving the way to the first phase of inoculation in Africa’s worst-hit country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President, David Mabuza, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines, received the nation’s first consignment of one-million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
While the first consignment of the vaccine will target frontline workers, the second batch of 500 000 vaccines is scheduled to arrive later in February.
Elated President Ramaphosa said, “Today marks a major milestone in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic as we receive our first consignment of the vaccine. This batch will benefit our healthcare workers who have been at the forefront of keeping us all safe.”
Also, injections will start to be administered in about two weeks after the vaccines go through quarantine, regulatory and quality-control procedures.
With at least 1.45 million detected infections and more than 44,000 fatalities, South Africa has the highest number of cases and deaths in Africa.
The authorities plan to vaccinate at least 67 per cent of the population, or 40 million people, by year’s end.
South Africa’s outbreak has been accelerated by a new variant said to be more contagious than earlier strains of the virus.