While the successful roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines would be "absolutely vital" for boosting investor, business, and consumer confidence, economists agree that the country still has structural issues which must be addressed to ensure progress in the SA economy over the longer term.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday provided an update on the country's vaccine roll-out plan. This comes after government received criticism from the public on the apparent lack of urgency with which it is treating the situation. News24 previously reported that government had missed a payment deadline in November to the COVAX consortium – set up to provide vaccine access to middle and low-income countries. The country subsequently missed a second December deadline too, Fin24 previously reported.
During his briefing, Mkhize said government aims to have a minimum of 67% or more than 40 million of the population vaccinated to ensure herd immunity, through a three-phase roll-out. The first phase targets frontline healthcare workers, the second phase targets essential workers, those in congregant spaces such as care facilities and prisons as well as those aged 60 and older and those over 18 with co-morbidities, News24 previously reported. The third phase sees more than 22 million of the general population aged over 18 receiving the vaccine.