Inbound: Vaccine for health workers is en route to SA as 5,297 new infections recorded

The first batch of vaccines, 1-million doses, departed India on Sunday, bound for OR Tambo International Airport. These will be used to vaccinate healthcare workers. The first vaccination is due to take place within 10-14 days, after the consignment has been checked and cleared.
The first batch of vaccines, 1-million doses, departed India on Sunday, bound for OR Tambo International Airport. These will be used to vaccinate healthcare workers. The first vaccination is due to take place within 10-14 days, after the consignment has been checked and cleared.
Image: SA Government via Twitter

The first shipment of 1 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is en route to SA, to arrive in Johannesburg on Monday.

The vaccine shipment from the Serum Institure in India left the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday, bound for OR Tambo International Airport.

This comes as health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday that confirmed cases of Covid-19 have risen by 5,297.

This brings the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in SA to 1,449 236 — with a recovery rate of 89%.

“Regrettably, we report 528 more Covid-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 95, Free State 10, Gauteng 126, KwaZulu-Natal 195, Limpopo 16, Mpumalanga 23, Northern Cape 11 and Western Cape 52,” said the minister.

This brings the total to 43,633 deaths.

The Sunday Times reports that SA has secured another 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, taking the total on order to more than 42 million.

Some of the country's leaders could be among the first in line for the jab, jumping the queue to publicly demonstrate their confidence that the Covid vaccine is safe, he told the newspaper.

After front-line health workers, phase 2 of the vaccine rollout will include essential workers with a target population of 2.5 million, people older than 60 (5 million) and people older than 18 with co-morbidities (8 million).

Mkhize said at the weekend that taxi drivers will be included in phase 2, along with those working in hotels and restaurants.

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