The first million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are soon to arrive in South Africa. In the ‘family meeting’ held on 11 January, President Ramaphosa outlined how vaccinations would be rolled out across South Africa. With medical workers, essential workers and the most vulnerable among us being prioritised (in that order), it will be a while before other South Africans will have access to the vaccine. Glenmed Professional Healthcare Solutions look at the ways in which our country’s hospitals will handle the vaccination program.

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Vaccine Distribution Preparations In South Africa

It is difficult, at this early stage, to determine exactly how hospitals will prepare for vaccinations, as the actions each medical facility are able to take will depend on distribution and availability. The supply will be heavily constrained at first, and it is not certain how the Department of Health and COVAX will distribute the dose across the country’s many hospitals and clinics. In line with government directives, both public and private hospitals will regulate the demand for vaccines by prioritising patients according to the guidelines set out by the president. This means that health care professions will be immunised first. Whatever doses are left will be given to other essential workers and high-risk individuals. Thereafter, people who live and work in crowded settings, such as prisoners, retail workers, banking staff and care home residents and staff, will be next on the list. Only after these groups are catered for will the general public have access to the vaccine, and the availability will depend on the ongoing supply of the drug after that point, which remains to be seen.

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