Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, says government is hoping to inoculate 46.2 million South Africans by March 2022. However, this is provided the country receives the millions of vaccines that the nation has secured from drug makers.
“This tally excludes the 500 000 that will be vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol. We are also hopeful that COVAX will be able to deliver 1.2 million doses this quarter,” the Minister said on Monday.
South Africa is expecting 31 200 000 Johnson & Johnson jabs and 30 002 310 batches of the Pfizer vaccine which will be delivered in phases. He announced that, as of Monday at 6pm, 343 420 senior citizens have already registered on the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS).
Mkhize launched the COVID-19 vaccine online registration for the public on Friday, starting with those who are aged 60 and above, as the department gears up for phase two of the country’s vaccine rollout.
“We call on all South Africans to assist their friends, family and neighbours who are 60 years and older to register on the EVDS by accessing the portal online at vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.”
The mass vaccination campaign is due to commence on 17 May 2021 and Mkhize believes it represents hope for the nation after the social, economic and psychological carnage left by COVID-19.
“It is for this reason that I have embarked on a nationwide tour to assess the readiness of provinces to roll out the vaccines at the anticipated rate that will be required to achieve population immunity by the first quarter in 2022,” he explained.
Mkhize has completed three provincial visits and said he was satisfied that Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Western Cape understand the requirements and will rise to the occasion.
“Having being presented with the mass vaccination rollout plan for the Western Cape, I was pleased to note that the province has given full consideration to the interventions that need to be implemented such that the province can vaccinate the nearly five million citizens targeted for that region,” he said during his meeting with the Western Cape leaders on Monday.
He assured Premier Alan Winde and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo that the National Health Department has secured enough vaccines for all the provinces for both the public and private sectors.
“The Western Cape will get as many vaccines as they need to achieve population immunity. Therefore, there is no need for any provincial government to procure its own vaccines. The province can therefore focus their energies on the distribution and logistics of inoculation”, he said.