covid-19 vaccine south africa

Covid-19 vaccine lands in SA: Here’s everything we know

Published by Andile Sicetsha

A bit late to the party but nonetheless, the Covid-19 vaccine lands in South Africa, on Monday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be with his deputy David Mabuza at the OR Tambo International Airport to welcome the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Not more than one million doses of the vaccine are expected to be offloaded from the cargo flight that departed from India on Sunday.

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Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa: Everything we know

There are still a number of checks and balances that must be conducted on the consignment before it is ready and available to healthcare workers.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize had indicated in last week’s inoculation webinar that the doses won’t be available for distribution for at least two weeks.

“After the arrival of the vaccines, they will undergo some technical processes of quarantine, quality assurance and reconciliation that are necessary for the safe distribution of the vaccine. These processes will take a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 14 days to complete, upon which we will be ready to distribute the vaccines to all provinces,” he said.

Which group will be the first to get vaccinated?

The arrival of the AstraZeneca will initiate phase one of South Africa’s vaccine rollout strategy. At the centre of this phase, are approximately 1.25 million healthcare workers.

Hospitals, clinics and mobile stations will be set up in all nine provinces to host vaccinations. To facilitate and track the mass programme, the government has built an electronic vaccination data system (EVDS).

This, per BusinessTech, will help the health department streamline vaccine appointments, manage personal data like demographics, number of doses, administration sites and tracking events following immunisation.

The trial run of EVDS will be launched in phase one of the vaccine programme. It’s successes and failures will be fine-tuned for mass distribution once more doses reach our shores.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to arrive in South Africa at 15:00.