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Picture: Pexels

Speculation rife that Covid vaccines have arrived in SA after cargo plane lands at OR Tambo airport

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jan 26, 2021

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DURBAN - In an interview on Monday morning, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, said when the country's first batch of vaccines arrive in SA, his department will make an official announcement. If the planespotter forums on social media are anything to go by, then we can expect that announcement in the coming days.

Earlier this month, the health ministry confirmed that the country was set to receive one million Covid vaccines by the end of the month and a second batch of 500 000 by February.

During his interview on Morning Live on Monday, Mkhize said the plans were still on track.

On Tuesday, speculation was rife that the cargo had arrived after a cargo plane, from Mumbai, was spotted at OR Tambo International Airport.

SA's 1.5 million shots of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Mkhize said healthcare workers will be first in line to take the vaccine.

"We have an estimated 1.25 million healthcare workers both from public and private (hospitals) to be prioritised," he said.

Spokesperson at the health ministry, Dr Lwazi Manzi, dismissed the rumours as “speculation”.

Meanwhile, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, there are three phases for the vaccine roll-out.

– Phase one: target a population of 1.25 million; front-line healthcare workers (HCW) would be first in line.

– Phase two: target population of 2 500 000: this would include police officers, miners and workers in the security, retail, food, funeral, teachers, banking, essential municipal workers and Home Affairs, border control and port health services.

– Phase two: target population of 1 100 000: this includes people 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.

– Phase three: target population of 22 500 000 – from the rest of the population.

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