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Its D-Day as vaccination en-route to SA

The first shipment of 1 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) left the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday, and will reportedly arrive at OR Tambo International Airport from 3pm.

President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccines, will be on hand to welcome the shipments. They will be joined by Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, High Commissioner of the Republic of India His Excellency Jaideep Sarkar and Dr Morena Makhoana, Chief Executive Officer of Biovac.

“Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company that was formed in 2003 in a partnership between government and private investors to establish local vaccine manufacturing capability. Biovac will play an important role in the quality assurance, warehousing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines,” the Presidency said.

A second shipment of 500 000 doses from SII is expected to arrive later in February.

South Africa will reportedly pay $5.25 (R77.67) per dose for the 1.5 million shots.

Its unclear when and how will the inoculation take place but health frontline workers, Police and Army will be prioritised.

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