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ICPA, govt in talks to set up 20,000 more sites for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The first million doses of Oxford- AstraZeneca’s vaccines from India are expected to land on home soil sometime this month. They will be exclusively allocated to health care workers.

FILE: The University of Oxford and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca have developed a COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) is in talks with the government to secure 20,000 more private sector sites for mass COVID-19 vaccinations.

The association wants to start these inoculations in just a month’s time.

The first million doses of Oxford- AstraZeneca’s vaccines from India are expected to land on home soil sometime this month. They will be exclusively allocated to health care workers.

WATCH: SA's vaccine strategy: All you need to know

On Thursday, ICPA CEO Jackie Maimin said with thousands of general practitioners and registered nursing sisters in the private sector, they were ready to assist government.

“If each of these 20,000 sites administers just 30 vaccines a day, Monday to Friday, then that would mean 12 million more people can be vaccinated in just four weeks - it is doable."

Maimin said collaboration between private and public sectors was key to ensure that the country’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan went smoothly.

“The whole intention of NHI is that there’s no public or private care. I think this will be a wonderful example, it will set the scene for universal health coverage, no such thing as private or public health care.”

South Africa is expected to receive vaccines from various suppliers but Maimin said this was nothing unusual and they would be well managed by nurses as seen during other programmes.

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