South Africa has seen more than one-third of the coronavirus cases in all of Africa and the sweeping emergence in numbers of new variants of the virus. But like some badly hit countries globally, South Africa has not yet started its vaccination program.
So far Africa has secured nearly twenty million doses due in the first half of the year 2021, says the president there- Cyril Ramaphosa.
Still, they are yet to declare a timeline for a programme aiming to vaccinate the population of nearly forty million residents.
There are three sources of seeking vaccines, that South Africa has been working on;
- Via the WHO- upheld Covax project.
- Through the arrangements done by the African Union.
- Via mutual contract with the producers of the vaccine.
Covax is an initiative globally to ensure that every country gets an adequate supply of effective vaccines. In this initiative, countries come forward and pool their available and advanced resources to develop the coronavirus vaccine.
Through Covax, South Africa expects to receive vaccines for its 10 per cent of the population. Moreover, they have been told it’ll reach them by April to June.
Last year, the African Union established the African vaccine assistant task team to source vaccine doses from the landmass. But, likely, the vaccines won’t appear for several more months.
What’s next for South Africa?
The ministry of health states that it has a bilateral deal with the Serum Institute of India- the maker of 1.5 million doses and the world’s largest vaccine maker.
The country expects to receive a million doses of Oxford- AstraZeneca jab later this month. And the remaining in the next month of February.
South Africa, is planning to vaccinate the front line workers or health workers of the country, which has a population of around 1.2 million. But, looking at the first batch of vaccine doses, the country will receive, it seems it won’t be enough.