Home News The South Africans first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine

The South Africans first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine

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Priority will be given to four groups of people

File image: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

UP TO SIX million South Africans, or 10% of the population, will be first in line to receive the Covax vaccine and priority will be given to four groups of people.

The chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, has revealed that the vaccine will be delivered to the country within the first half of 2021.

The four groups to first receive the jab will be:

* Health care workers

* The elderly who are aged 75 years and older, as well as the staff who care for those in old age homes. People with comorbidities will also be prioritised.

* Essential workers and personnel needed to maintain essential services in the country.

* Persons who are institutionalised including prisoners.

“Since we expect that we will not be able to get very large quantities of the vaccine initially we have to prioritise,” said Karim in a video posted on Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s Twitter account.

The Covax vaccine programme is the global initiative aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide with equitable access to safe and effective vaccines.

Earlier this week it was announced that the country’s Covax participation was secured after a down payment of $19.2 million (about R283m) was made to secure South Africa’s entry into the Covax facility.

South Africa has recorded the most coronavirus infections on the African continent, with more than 954,000 confirmed cases and more than 25,000 deaths to date.

Mkhize has warned citizens that current restrictions may need to be reviewed as the country recorded more than 14,000 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours.