First batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrive in South Africa today

covid-19 vaccine south africa
Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash

The first batch of the much-anticipated Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for South Africa arrives in the country today, 1 February.

The shipment will arrive from the Serum Institute of India (SII). Some of South Africa’s top government officials will welcome it at a small proceeding at OR Tambo International Airport late on Monday afternoon, according to the Presidency.

“The President and Deputy President will be joined 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,” the Presidency said in a statement.

The shipment includes the first one million doses of the vaccine, according to the South African Government News Agency.

The SABC will live-stream the proceedings on government and presidency platforms.

However, considering the storage requirements of the vaccine, the event won’t last long.

The event will involve dignitaries witnessing airport officials clearing the shipment for arrival. They will then move the shipment to its cold-room storage.

The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine marks the beginning of the first phase of rollout in South Africa. The first phase will see 1.2 million frontline health workers vaccinated.

Feature image: Hakan Nural on Unsplash

Read more: South African website lets you measure your COVID-19 risk

Megan Ellis


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