The first Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in the country will land at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday the 1st February at around noon, announced Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize.
The Serum Institute in India will be supplying the first 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and shipping it to South Africa, via Dubai. Previously the Minister had not been specific about the details, only telling the country that vaccines would arrive at the end of January.
Once the vaccines arrive in the country on the 1st of February, they have to be checked and approved by the SAHPRA. The Minister expects that the checks will take between 10 and 14 days so the first vaccines can only be administered at least 10 days after arrival.
The vaccines will be administered to health care workers in the first phase, with those who work directly with sick patients getting particular priority. Then others working in the health sector will be vaccinated. The second phase will be frontline workers such as police and teachers - and those who are suffering from co-morbidities.
Vaccines will be administered and records will be kept on the Electronic Vaccine Data System - EVDS. The vaccine must be adminsitered in two doses.
Health Care Workers will first log on to the system to request a vaccination. They will then receive a message via email and SMS informing them of the time and location to received their vaccination.
An app has been developed to monitor the roll out of the vaccine and will allow those who have been vaccinated to give feedback. They will be able to report to the SAHPRA safety regulator if they experience any side effects after taking the vaccine.