Mkhize: Govt to target 67% of S.Africans in COVID vaccine rollout

The minister said government had set up structures to expedite financing, sourcing and procurement of the vaccine.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Sunday said health workers are at the top of the list to receive coronavirus vaccine.

He and a panel of experts briefed the nation on how South Africa would roll out the vaccine to the public.

"The only way of being able to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic is the provision of immunity through vaccination. We have been trying to follow what the best way is to deal with this. The vaccines will need to be made available quickly so that most of our citizens are covered by the end of the first year of rollout - this year."

He said over 67% of the population would be targeted in a phased rollout, beginning with health workers, followed by the elderly and those with comorbidities.

"The only way of being able to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic is the provision of immunity through vaccination. We have been trying to follow what the best way is to deal with this," Mkhize said.

The minister said government had set up structures to expedite financing, sourcing and procurement of the vaccine.

"Additionally, we have embarked on public-private partnerships with very good outcomes and we have approached medical aids to be part of the co-financing. The process is now at a stage where the Council for Medical Schemes has engaged various medical schemes and I have signed amendments of regulations to allow for vaccines and other therapeutics to be part of the prescribed minimum benefits."

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