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WATCH: First batch of vaccine arrives

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President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza received the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines at OR Tambo Airport.

Emirates Airlines flight EK761 arrives at the OR Tambo International Airport from Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai. The plane is carrying 1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines, were on hand to receive South Africa’s first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine as Emirates Airlines flight EK761 arrived from Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai, India.

The first shipment of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) left Mumbai on Sunday.

The 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine is earmarked for healthcare workers.

According to the Presidency, Ramaphosa and Mabuza were joined at the arrival event by Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, High Commissioner of the Republic of India His Excellency Jaideep Sarkar and Dr Morena Makhoana, chief executive officer of Biovac.

“Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company that was formed in 2003 in a partnership between government and private investors to establish local vaccine manufacturing capability. Biovac will play an important role in the quality assurance, warehousing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines,” the Presidency said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the DA has approached the Western Cape High Court in an attempt to compel the government to table a comprehensive roll-out plan for the vaccination process to enable opposition parties to hold it accountable should failures occur.