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First phase of SA’s vaccine rollout will take 3 months‚ second about 6 months

All provinces in SA are ready to move ahead with the Covid-19 vaccination rollout‚ says health minister Zweli Mkhize.

The health department on Friday updated MPs in the parliamentary portfolio committee about the processes to vaccinate millions of people in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the coming months.

“It’s difficult terrain managing a rollout of this nature because of the global demand. Everything is happening at the same time for many countries. However‚ we have not lost time in the context of the fact that we will be rolling out our vaccines soon‚” said Mkhize.

“Not all vaccines have all their results out‚ so we’ve had to tread carefully. We must expect there will be mistakes. It won’t be a perfect process.”

The department has identified specific facilities for the preservation and security of the vaccines.

Phase 1 will see health workers vaccinated‚ the second phase includes essential front-line workers and people aged over 60‚ and the third phase is the general public.

The first phase will take about three months‚ the second phase six months and the last will take an additional three months.

“The phase 1 rollout will be managed by Biovac in terms of customs clearance‚ logistics‚ warehousing‚ storage and distribution to the provinces‚” said the department.

“For phases 2 and 3‚ an open bid will be advertised on February 5 2021. It will be open to SMMEs that qualify and this will be advertised centrally. Multiple awards will be made.

“Procurement of ancillary supplies (syringes‚ needles‚ swabs‚ medical waste supplies) will be done by provinces and some provinces have existing contracts for these supplies.”

Source: ARENA Holdings.