South Africa is one of around 200 countries who have joined the pooled procurement for the coronavirus vaccine, commonly known as COVAX, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO)Health Ministry
It comes as no surprise that the year has started with much debate and questions of concern raised by South African citizens regarding the Covid-19 vaccine update. The virus which has been a drawback for most of the year 2020 finally has been ground in alleviation according to the ministry of health’s vaccine roll-out development update this past Sunday.
One of the major questions raised by citizens during the ministry update is whether South Africa will be buying its vaccine from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; to which the health minister, Zweli Mkhize answered as “the process still under negotiation and updates will be made available as soon as a decision has been reached”. Another question that was asked frequently is whether the vaccine can be imported on an individual basis, the minister said that can not be possible.
In the briefing, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said they were targeting the vaccination of 67% of South Africans against Covid-19 to achieve herd immunity. This equates to just over 40 million people.
Those who will get access to the vaccine first are as follows:
Healthcare workers: Health professionals, nurses, general health workers, care home workers, selected laboratory workers, and traditional healers.
Persons with co-morbidities and at risk for morbidity and mortality: These include persons 60 years and older, persons living with HIV, tuberculosis, diabetics, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, obesity, etc.
Essential workers: This group includes police officers, miners, and workers in the security, retail food, funeral, travel, banking, and essential municipal and home affairs services.
After all, was said and done, South Africans patently had much to say, some of their reactions towards the vaccine roll-out plans were flooding Twitter.