In January 2021, President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would pursue its vaccination programme, in line with other countries. While there were some hiccups at first, such as the Astra-Zeneca vaccines that were found to be ineffective against the South African strain of COVID-19, the country appears set to carry out its programme and reach its goal of vaccinating 41 million adults by the end of 2021. Glenmed Professional Healthcare Solutions explains the phased rollout process by which the government plans to have the entire population protected against the virus in as short a time as possible.
How The Government Plans To Vaccinate South Africa
We have looked at other topics relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics, particularly as they relate to the healthcare industry, in our blog. Let us take a look at how the government plans to restore the country to normal as quickly as possible.
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A 3-Phase Rollout
The national rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is set to take place in three phases according to a national prioritisation framework.
In Phase 1, which began on 17 February, healthcare workers were prioritised. Up to this point, hundreds of thousands of South Africa’s healthcare workers have received their jabs. The inoculation of healthcare workers will continue even as Phase 2 of the scheme is being rolled out.
Phase 2, began on 17 May. Around 16.5 million South Africans were prioritised for vaccination based on their age and vulnerability. The elderly and people who have pre-existing health conditions will be prioritised.
Phase 3, will involve the vaccination of the remaining 22.5 million people, going down in age batches. On 16 April, registrations were opened for those who wish to receive their vaccinations. All South Africans must register on this system in order to join the queue for their vaccines. In order to achieve population immunity by the end of the year, 250 000 to 300 000 people must be vaccinated by the end of phase 3.
Many people wonder whether the country has enough doses to complete the programme. Is it, currently stands, this will not be a problem. About 51 million doses were purchased, including 31 million Johnson and Johsnon vaccines (single dose) and 20 million Pfizer (two-dose) vaccines. Another 1.2 million vaccines are soon to arrive from Covax.
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