South Africa welcomes its first batch of coronavirus vaccine from India

Written By: Kalden Ongmu WION
Johannesburg, South Africa Published: Feb 01, 2021, 08:11 PM(IST)

Vials of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The first phase of this rollout programme will prioritise around 1.2 million frontline health workers

South Africa welcomed its first batch of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) on Monday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Vice President David Mabuza, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa, Jaideep Sarkar received the first consignment of one million jabs of the vaccine.

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The arrival of the first consignment 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. 

The scale of delivery is unprecedented in terms of the number of people who have to be reached within a short space of time, Ramaphosa said.

The first phase of this rollout programme will prioritise around 1.2 million frontline health workers. 

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This batch of vaccine will go through technical processes, including quality assurance and stock reconciliation. It will take over 10 to 14 days before distributing to provinces, Zweli Mkhize, Minister, Department of Health previously said.

President Ramaphosa is set to address the nation tonight on developments in relation to the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

As on Sunday, the country registered 1.45 million cases and 44,164 deaths. 

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