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South Africa to receive first vaccine Monday for health workers

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COVID-19: Russia becomes 1st country to declare virus vaccine ready for use

South Africa is expected to receive the first batch of one million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer on Monday.

The Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, said this at a public health webinar on COVID-19 vaccine in Johannesburg.

“We know the nation has been waiting for the arrival of the first batch of vaccine and I’m pleased to announce the flight carrying 1 million doses will leave India on Sunday via Durban and land at the OR Tambo airport,” Mr Mkhize said.

Read also: No sign South Africa COVID-19 variant can resist vaccine –WHO

This batch of vaccine doses would be given to healthcare workers, said the official, adding that another 500,000 doses would arrive in mid-February.

The vaccine has been approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority for emergency use in the country.

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa had on Monday in his weekly column to the nation said the first vaccines to arrive will be provided to healthcare workers while the second phase will include essential workers, teachers, the elderly and those with comorbidities, Ramaphosa said, adding: “The third phase will include other adults in the population.”

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