Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines, received South Africa’s first consignment of the Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) at the Oliver Reginald Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg today.
The SII has been licensed to produce a vaccine that has been developed by the multinational pharmaceutical and bio pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, in collaboration with the University of Oxford.
The aim of the vaccination programme is to achieve immunity across the population. The arrival of the first consignment will give effect to the rollout of the vaccination programme.
The first phase of the vaccination programme will prioritise around 1.2 million front-line health workers.
The committee chaired by Mabuza focuses on procurement, distribution, actual vaccination, monitoring, communication and mobilisation.
Ramaphosa and Mabuza were joined by Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, High Commissioner of the Republic of India His Excellency Jaideep Sarkar and Dr Morena Makhoana, CEO of Biovac.
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“Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company that was formed in 2003 in a partnership between government and private investors to establish local vaccine manufacturing capability. Biovac will play an important role in the quality assurance, warehousing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines,” the Presidency said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the DA has approached the Western Cape High Court in an attempt to compel the government to table a comprehensive roll-out plan for the vaccination process to enable opposition parties to hold it accountable should failures occur.
For more on South Africa’s vaccine rollout, click here.