While government celebrates the arrival of the long awaited Pfizer vaccines, concerns have been raised about the future of the rollout.
Over 300 000 Pfizer vaccine doses arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday 2 May.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said government is expecting to receive over 1.3 million vaccines by the end of May 2021.
“Thereafter the vaccine supply will increase to an average of 636 480 per week from 31 May, which will see us accumulating close to 4.5 million doses by the end of June,” he said.
Fatima Hassan of the Health Justice Initiative said the arrival of the vaccines is a small step, but more needs to be done.
Hassan said the country needs to vaccinate over 20 million people, and the over 300 000 vaccines from Pfizer will not be enough to meet this target.
"It's under 500 000 supplies, we need to vaccinate over 20 million people. Unfortunately, it comes with a heavy heart because it's quite delayed and it's a drip feed of supplies from one particular company that is also behind globally on its production targets.
"The estimates at the moment is that if we receive monthly supplies of these numbers, it's gonna take us quite some time to vaccinate the entire country."
There are also concerns about South Africa's decision to only use two vaccine manufacturers, as delays faced by these manufacturers will affect the rollout of the vaccine.
Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout is expected to take place this month, as registration is open to the public.
Minister Mkhize has encouraged citizens over the age of 60 to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).
In order to register, you will need internet access and a smartphone/tablet/computer
- Visit the following website: vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.
- Follow the instructions on the page and put in all the details required by the system.
- You will then receive an SMS to the phone number you provided. This will confirm that your details have been captured and you are now in a queue to be scheduled to receive your vaccine.
- You will then receive an SMS that will give you details about a date and the place where you will be vaccinated.
- You will be referred to a vaccination centre that is closest to you.
- Citizens will be provided with a proof of vaccination card and receive a confirmation SMS on their phone.
Contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 0800 029 999 if you have problems registering on the system.