SA’s first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines leave India

One million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been shipped from Mumbai and is en route to Johannesburg.

The first shipment of 1 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India left Mumbai on 31 January 2021. Picture: @DIRCO_ZA on Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – The first shipment of 1 million AstraZeneca vaccines left Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday.

The flight carrying the precious cargo will go through Dubai and land at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday.

The first rollout will mostly prioritise healthcare workers.

Another half a million doses are expected in February.

Meanwhile, the mining industry has pledged its support for the procurement of vaccines and the rollout plan as the country battles a second wave of COVID- 19 infections.

The industry on Saturday said it had the capacity to vaccinate its work force of about 450,000.

The mineral council’s Charmane Russel, said, “As an industry, we have offered our support to government in the distribution of vaccines to mining employees and mining communities. Mining companies have significant healthcare infrastructure and capacity that will enable us to drive the vaccination process.”

The council said it could vaccinate about 60,000 people a day.

The country is about to embark on its biggest vaccines drive yet with plans of inoculating more than 40 million people this year.

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