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Ntshavheni: 20 million COVID vaccine doses to arrive from March

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told a post Cabinet briefing on Friday the first doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were being administered to healthcare workers in both the public and private sectors.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, Deputy President David Mabuza, acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, and President Cyril Ramaphosa celebrate the arrival of the first million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at OR Tambo International Airport on 1 February 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Cabinet has reminded South Africans that COVID-19 vaccinations are free and voluntary.

Acting minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told a post Cabinet briefing on Friday the first doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were being administered to healthcare workers in both the public and private sectors.

At last count, more than 50,000 people had been inoculated.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told a sitting of the National Council of Provinces on Thursday that over 20 million vaccine doses would arrive in the country in the coming months.

READ: Cabinet pleased with SA’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and procurement - Ntshavheni

WATCH: R10bn for vaccines & no tax hikes - Mboweni delivers Budget Speech

Ntshavheni on Friday said Cabinet was pleased the vials procured from several sources would arrive at varying intervals from next month.

“Phase two will focus on essential workers and vulnerable people, which includes people over the age of 60, people with comorbidities as well as places such as nursing homes and hostels. Citizens ae reminded that vaccinations are free and voluntary.”

ASLO READ: SAHPRA to evaluate Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine data for possible use in SA

A second batch of Johnson and Johnson's inoculations should touch down in the country on Saturday.

She said Cabinet had also reflected on the efforts and progress made by South Africa's medical experts in developing our own vaccines to deal with current and future pandemics.

WATCH: National vaccine rollout finally gets under way

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