Jo’burg: The first batch of the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine ‘Covishield’ manufactured by India’s Serum Institute of India(SII) left Mumbai on Monday morning for South Africa.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa would personally greet the plane when it lands in Johannesburg.
The first million shots of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be used to inoculate health care workers during the next three months. The second batch of 500,000 doses is scheduled to arrive later in February.
Sputnik quoted acting presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale saying “Vaccination is a critical defence against Covid-19 and herd immunity will enable South Africa to intensify its effort to secure greater levels of public health and reconstruct our economy. The arrival of the first vaccine is an outcome of partnership between government and social partners in the country, including the private sector, as well as our interactions with partner governments, the World Health Organisation and the Pharmaceutical industry in the country and abroad,”
South Africa has the largest COVID-19 tally on the continent. The country has so far logged over 1.4 million cases, including almost 1.3 million recoveries and some 44,000 deaths.