South Africa receives first Covid-19 Vaccines

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South Africa receives covid-19 vaccines, and the President welcomes their arrival into the country. Ramaphosa had earlier urged countries with the vaccine to refrain from hoarding the vaccines. His cry for the vaccines to help his ailing country comes a few days after the statement. The president was nothing short of excitement to receive the vaccines from the OR Tambo international airport. The batch carries 1 million AstraZeneca covid vaccines. Ramaphosa hails the arrival of the vaccines affirming that this will help change the pandemic’s narrative in his country so far.

Health workers a priority.

Ramaphosa directs that once the vaccines’ testing is over, the Health workers will receive the first shots. This is in response to the South African Health workers’ critics neglecting their needs to fight against the Pandemic. In fact, the second wave of the virus took a toll on most of the health workers.

The 1 million vaccines offer hope to the 1.25 million South African health workers even though the vaccines are less. The AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India requires two doses per patient. In the course of the month, the SII will release another 500,000 doses of the vaccine to the country.

South Africa Covid Infections

So far, the country has the highest number of infections in the continent, with a total of more than 1.4 million infections and 44,000 recorded deaths to date. Towards the end of last year, the country reported a new variant of the coronavirus. The 501Y.V2 variant proves to be more infectious compared to the previous one. The virus has also been detected in Europe, parts of the United States, and Asia.

Coronavirus Vaccine campaign

Further negotiations to secure the coronavirus vaccine are quite evident. In fact, South Africa hopes to acquire 50 million vaccines from pharmaceutical companies. The vaccination campaign is an expensive exercise adding that it will cost a total of 24 billion rands to vaccinate all South African nationals. The COVAX program spearheaded by the World Health Organization through an African Union agreement hopes to chip in to aid South Africa.

With the 50 million doses, South Africa hopes to vaccinate its population of 40 million. This is in respect to the Johnson$ Johnson vaccine accounting for almost two-thirds of the total vaccines. This vaccine requires a single dose per patient, unlike the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. By March, 2 million vaccines will be released to South Africa through COVAX.

The Chief executive of Biovac Institute, Morena Makhoana, assures that the vaccines are secure. Additionally, a random sample of the vaccines will be sent to Bloemfontein for further testing. An exercise that will take 10 to 14 days to ensure quality assurance. He further affirms that there are back up plans on standby in case of power outages.

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