South Africa could have a Covid-19 vaccine as early as April, says Mkhize

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Zweli Mkhize says SA may have its vaccine by April 2021.
Zweli Mkhize says SA may have its vaccine by April 2021.
Vincent Kalut / Photonews via Getty Images
  • South Africa could have a Covid-19 vaccine by April next year.
  • Minister Zweli Mkhize said the government was doing everything it could to ensure that before April, the country would get the vaccine.
  • Healthcare workers, essential services providers and the ill are first on the priority list.

South Africa could have a Covid-19 vaccine by April next year.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday that the government was doing everything it could to ensure that the country received the vaccine by that date.

He said the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) was expediting the vaccine registration process.

Mkhize said he was convinced that Sahpra, the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) and all research institutions were aiming for early registration of a vaccine.

READ | Covax: Who will be the first in SA to get the vaccine

According to Mkhize, 11 vaccines are currently being tested by various countries. 

"We are looking at which vaccine has good efficacy report, [and is] available and affordable," said Mkhize.

"...Our priority [for vaccination] is healthcare workers and essential services providers, followed by the ill," Mkhize added.

READ | Covid-19: Here are the latest rules as SA reverts to Level 3

Meanwhile, Mkhize said 11 256 patients were hospitalised - about 8.3 % of active cases.

"About 3 543 of them are on oxygen and 604 are on ventilators. 

"We continue to engage unions and have appraised them of the resurgence plan and outline the provincial readiness plans. It will greatly assist us to welcome, in a few days, 2 367 medical interns, 1 693 medical community service practitioners, who will form part of a 7 895 strong community service workforce from all categories," Mkhize said.

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