South Africa to receive 1.5 million vaccine doses over next two months.

A day after reaching a ‘grim milestone’ of 844 deaths and 21,832 new cases, SA announces vaccinations are nearer than ever.

Announced by the health ministry of Thursday, the country is set to receive 1.5 million doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII). A million of these is expected before the end of the month, with the balance due to be received in February. The vaccine in question is that developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca which has already been approved and rolled out by several countries across the globe. The arrangement will supplement the country’s supply arrangement via Covax, through which millions of vaccines are expected in the second quarter.

The announcement, which was made by the minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize in a parliamentary address, follows discussions between SA and the Indian government. The estimated 1.25 million healthcare workers across both the private and public sectors will be prioritized as the country battles a resurging coronavirus wave driven a more infectious variant of the virus. The ministry added it is working closely with the country’s national regulator SAHPRA, to ensure no unnecessary delays are incurred with the rolling out the vaccine across the country.