Cape Town - As the country prepares for the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine roll out next Monday, South Africa’s vaccine rollout seems to be finally gathering momentum.
On Tuesday, SA recorded the highest number of vaccines administered in one day, about 19 142 vaccines were administered across the country. The day before that St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban set a new vaccination site record when a record 1 828 doses were administered.
As of the end of Tuesday, May 11, the number of healthcare vaccinated under the Sisonke protocol is 414 372. The study was temporarily paused two weeks ago after six American women suffered an extremely rare clotting disorder, after receiving the J&J vaccine.
Phase two is expected to begin on May 17, is expected to reach vulnerable members of our society such as people over 60 and people living with co-morbidities and is set to continue until October.
According to Ourworldindata.org, the global percentage of people vaccinated for Covid-19 stands at 4,1% while only 0,7% of South Africans have been vaccinated.
With winter fast approaching there are concerns about a third wave of coronavirus infections - particularly as only 26% of the 1.5 million healthcare workers have so far been inoculated.
Answering oral questions in parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country’s slow start to its Covid-19 vaccine rollout is the result of several factors outside of the country’s hands.
“We’ve lost time on the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, we know that. Of course we care, that’s what we’ve been doing since this pandemic started.”
Ramaphosa confirmed that the government has now finalised the contract for sufficient doses to vaccinate 41.5 million people.
In the second quarter of the year, three million vaccines are set to arrive from Johnson & Johnson, 4.5 million from Pfizer and an additional 1.5 million Pfizer doses through the Covax initiative.
“The plan is in place. The centres are in place. The people have been trained. The transportation is in place to transfer these Covid vaccine doses at the correct temperature. The medical aid schemes are supporting this process,” said Ramaphosa.