South Africa has taken delivery of the first batch of AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccines on Monday, 1 February, at the OR Tambo International Airport.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy president, David Mabuza, who chairs the inter-ministerial committee on vaccines, were present to receive the nation’s first consignment of one-million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from india.
This was disclosed by the South African broadcast corporation (SABC) on Monday.
While the first consignment of the vaccine will target frontline workers, the second batch of 500 000 vaccines is scheduled to arrive later in February.
Injections will start to be administered in about two weeks after the vaccines go through quarantine, regulatory and quality-control procedures.
Elated President Ramaphosa said, “Today marks a major milestone in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic as we receive our first consignment of the vaccine. This batch will benefit our healthcare workers who have been at the forefront of keeping us all safe.
South Africa recorded 4,525 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours bringing the cumulative number of detected cases to 1,453,761.
The country has seen a big surge in infections in January driven by a new, more contagious variant of the virus called 501Y.V2.
The department of health said that 213 more people have succumbed to Covid-19 related complications. This puts the national death toll at 44,164, the recovery rate now stands at 1,299,620.