Johannesburg, Jan 13 (AFP/APP): South Africa’s government has started outlining its Covid-19 inoculation plans, despite not yet receiving a single vaccine dose, as it faces criticism over unrealistic targets and a lack of clarity.
The continent’s worst-hit country is placing high hopes on vaccines as the authorities grapple with an unprecedented surge in cases fuelled by a new virus variant.
The government is aiming to vaccinate two-thirds of its population — around 40 million out of nearly 60 million people — in order to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021.
One million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine are expected this month — the first shipment of 20 million secured doses to be mainly delivered in the first-half of the year. “This will be the largest and most complex logistical undertaking in our country’s history,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said during an address to the nation on Monday.
After weeks of public outcry over a lack of planning, Ramaphosa finally laid out a three-phase vaccination blueprint for the year ahead.
Around 1.2 million health professionals will be first in line for the shot, followed by 16 million elderly and vulnerable citizens, as well as frontline workers. A remaining 22.5 million adults are then scheduled to be vaccinated.
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