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Mkhize: Health Dept working on revised strategy for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

As his department prepares for the mass vaccination of the country, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that they wanted to revise their strategy to improve efficiency.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize delivered a speech at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg where the country’s first COVID-19 patient was treated. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that his department was working on a "revised strategy" for the mass vaccination programme, drawing on lessons from the inoculation of healthcare workers.

In a statement released on Tuesday night, Mkhize also confirmed that government had signed a crucial contract with Pfizer for 20 million vaccine doses.

READ: Health Dept signs deal with Pfizer for 20m COVID-19 vaccine doses - report

He said that the payment process was under way and the deal should be wrapped up in the next few days.

As his department prepares for the mass vaccination of the country, Mkhize said that they wanted to revise their strategy to improve efficiency.

There have been calls for the elderly, politicians and other sectors to be considered for inclusion in the next few phases.

Mkhize said that his office was urgently consulting to ensure they listened to the needs of the communities and the final rollout plan is what South Africans wanted.

Once this "ratification process" was concluded, government would make announcements on which groups of people needed to register on the electronic vaccination system next.

Meanwhile, 200,000 Johnson & Johnson jabs are expected to arrive in South Africa by the weekend.

Mkhize said that the conclusion of this Johnson & Johnson agreement sets the stage for a significant and rapid expansion of the vaccine programme.

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