As he was giving an update on the COVID-19 induced lockdown in South Africa and the progression of the virus in general, The country’s president Cyril Ramaphosa told citizens that the COVID-19 vaccine is not compulsory and no one will be forced to take the drug.
Ramaphosa said this while addressing the nation and gave the following update to South Africans
- SA received their country’s first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines, received our country’s first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Vaccines will be tested at the National Control Laboratory to confirm that their integrity before being distributed to healthcare workers countrywide
- After healthcare workers are vaccinated people over 60 years, people with co-morbidities as well as those living in places such as nursing homes and hostels will be vaccinated next, and then the rest of the entire adult population.
- The Department of Health has developed an Electronic Vaccine Data System to streamline the vaccine registration and rollout process.
- In addition to the 1 million Covishield doses that were received, SA expects to receive another 500,000 doses from the Serum Institute of India to arrive later in February.
- They have secured 12 million doses in total from the global COVAX facility, which has indicated that it will release approximately 2 million doses by March.
- They have secured 9 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson, commencing with delivery in the second quarter. Johnson & Johnson has even contracted Aspen, one of our pharmaceutical companies, to manufacture these vaccines in South Africa.
- In addition, Pfizer has committed 20 million vaccine doses commencing with deliveries in the second quarter.
- South Africa will also receive an allocation of vaccine doses through the African Union, COVAX Scheme.
- MTN has donated $25 million to procure 7 million vaccines which will be availed to countries on the African continent within a matter of weeks.
- The country’s herd or population immunity is 67% according to scientist and that’s around 40 million people which
- Nobody will be given this vaccine against their will, nor will the vaccine be administered in secret.
- Level 3 lockdown restrictions adjusted, The hours of the curfew will now be from 11pm to 4am.
- Faith-based gatherings will be permitted, subject to health protocols. with less than 50 people per indoor gatherings and 100 for outdoor gatherings.
- Public places such as beaches, dams, rivers, parks and public swimming pools will be reopened subject to health protocols.
- Restrictions on the sale of alcohol will be eased Alcohol to be sold from 10AM till 6PM from Monday to Thursday.
- Social gatherings, political events, traditional council meetings and gatherings at sports grounds will not be permitted.
- Funerals may not be attended by more than 50 people, and there needs to be social distancing, hand sanitising and mask-wearing.