The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the country will be moving to the second phase of the mass vaccination plan.
Government has made progress since the start of phase 1, with vaccine deals being signed with various pharmaceutical companies.
“This means we can now move ahead with confidence as we finalise our plans for our mass rollout campaign.”
The Minister has predicted the timeline of the second phase, despite delays that were faced in the first phase of the rollout.
“We said the second phase should take us six months and therefore, we’re still sticking to that,” he said, adding that it will be wrapped up in October.
More than 200 000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan.
“I want to say to our healthcare workers, we value you for the work you have done and thank you for your patience as we wait for all the vaccines to be available.”
The Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said phase 1 of the vaccine rollout will end in April.
By the end of phase 1, government aims to vaccinate 608 295 registered healthcare workers.
Phase 2 of the rollout will include other vulnerable groups as well as essential worker.
“This phase will cover over 13 350 140 vulnerable groups, essential workers, and occupational health and safety stream, including workers in sectors that are critical for economic recovery such as mines, hospitality, the taxi industry, retail and spaza shops, fruit and vegetable vendors, media and other applicable beneficiaries,” Ntshavheni explained.
Phase 3 will take place over three months, as government vaccinates the rest of the population from November 2021 to February 2022.