South Africa is expected to receive the first batch of 1 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. The shipment is produced by the Serum Institute of India, said the country’s health department on Wednesday.
“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,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday night at a public health webinar on COVID-19 vaccine.
Mkhize revealed that this batch of vaccine doses would be given to healthcare workers, adding that another 500,000 doses would arrive in mid-February.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority for emergency use in the country.
South Africa’s National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) welcomed the imminent arrival of the vaccine doses.
“NEHAWU will work with the health department and other stakeholders to ensure that the vaccination process runs smoothly and guarantee that healthcare workers across the country are vaccinated,” said NEHAWU General Secretary Zola Saphetha.