'We are still on course to receive first batch of vaccines by end of January' - Mkhize

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
  • Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize says that SA is still on course to receive its first batch of vaccines.
  • One million doses are expected by the end of January.
  • Government has identified healthcare workers as the first recipients. 

South Africa is still on course to receive the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of January, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize says.

"We expect the first batch of vaccines before the last day of the month, they will give us exact confirmations when it is loaded.

"Right now what we will say is that we are still on course to have it by the end of January," Mkhize told Morning Live in an interview published on Sunday.

This comes after Mkhize announced in the first week of January that South Africa will receive one million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India.

READ | SA will get 1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from India this month

In addition, the national Health Department has said it has been given the green light by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) to procure the Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SSI).

The department also said it had been recognised as the supplier of the SII vaccine, News24 reported.

ALSO READ | Covid-19 | Health department gets green light from Sahpra for procurement of vaccine from India

Mkhize further reiterated that they are quite certain that the country will get the first batch of vaccines by the end of the month and that, "... there is no need to worry".

"We did say it will be arriving in January, we have not got any reason to worry.

"We did say that as soon as vaccines come, we will then start a vaccination programme in February, our plans are still on course. We are expecting a million doses, next month we are expecting 500 000," he added.

The first target when this batch arrives is still healthcare workers.

When probed on the cost of the vaccine, Mkhize said the following: "Yes, we can divulge the price. The Serum Institute charges $5 dollars per dose, the J&J negotiations, it is around the $10 mark, Pfizer is around the $10 mark."

The first batch will be arriving as South Africa is reaching the 1.5 million mark in recorded Covid-19 cases.

As of Sunday, 24 January - the country had recorded 1 412 986 cases, 1 230 520 recoveries, and 40 874 deaths.

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