Cape Town - As the country anticipates the arrival of 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, prioritised for front-line healthcare workers, the general public can expect to start receiving vaccines in the second quarter of the year.
As per the country’s roll-out strategy, vaccines will not be available to everyone immediately, and a prioritisation system will have to be applied. About 1.5 million healthcare workers have been prioritised to receive the vaccine in mid-February.
They will be followed by 2.5 million essential workers, consisting of police officers, teachers, miners, municipal workers, workers in the security, retail food, funeral, banking, essential and home affairs, border control and port health service.
Another 1,1 million people will be vaccinated in care homes 60 years and older, people older than 18 years with co-morbidities, detention centres, shelters and prisons. In addition, people working in the hospitality and tourism industry, and educational institutions will be vaccinated.
According to Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, ordinary South Africans are expected to begin receiving their shots in the second quarter of 2021.
“Having secured for 10% of the population, we have embarked on other efforts to get the rest of the 57% of the population to be targeted by the end 2021. This will ensure that we take all of society with us and get community buy-in, and a well-coordinated campaign…with a good uptake of the vaccinations offered. Ordinary South Africans are expected to begin receiving their shots in the second quarter of 2021.”
The Minister said government would not force anyone to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The vaccine will be voluntary, but we try to urge as many as possible to have the vaccine. Vaccines are not mandatory. We just need the community to understand that taking the vaccine is for their benefit.”