Mkhize backs Ramaphosa's COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said he believed President Ramaphosa managed to instill confidence in government’s plans.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize celebrate the vaccine arrival on 1 February 2021. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has come to the defence of President Cyril Ramaphosa on his proposed plans for the COVID-19 vaccines roll-out.

He said that Ramaphosa paid enough attention to issues relating to both the pandemic and vaccines, adding that more granular details would be announced in the coming week.

Opposition parties have criticised the President, saying that his State of the Nation Address (Sona) failed to provide details of government’s plans to vaccinate majority of the population.

READ: Opposition parties criticise Ramaphosa's Sona as out of touch and out of ideas

Ramaphosa said that all province’s roll-out plans were in place.

The president also said the country would now be using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, of which 80,0000 doses would arrive in the country next week.

Government has been lambasted for moving too slow on the procurement of vaccines and more recently for acquiring the AstraZeneca vaccines, which have a reduced efficacy to a variant of the virus discovered in South Africa.

Mkhize said he believed President Ramaphosa managed to instill confidence in government’s plans.

“The emphasis on vaccination, I think, is worth it. The president needs to be able to assure South Africans that vaccinations is going to start, and he has done that. [He] also needs to assure us that vaccination is the way to go for all South Africans, which I also think is very important.

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