Additionally, 112 new deaths were confirmed, taking the death toll to 58 702. At the same time, there have been more than 1.6-million recoveries, which is a recovery rate of more than 90%. So far, more than 2.1-million vaccines have been administered in the country.
The National Health Department meanwhile says 145 workplace sites are being planned to vaccinate the workforce, both in the public and private sectors, and those in the formal and informal economies. The mining and manufacturing industries have already started vaccinating their workers, whilst workers at State-Owned Enterprises, those in construction, agriculture, the auto sector, and those in the public sector are also being prioritised. The Department’s Barry Kitsnasamy says taxi operators are also on the list.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority says it’s still evaluating the applications from vaccine producers, Sinovac and Sputnik V, but no decision has been made to approve these vaccines for use, locally. Sahpra has thus far only approved Astra-Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, although South Africa has suspended the use of Astra-Zeneca after it was shown to offer limited protection against the Beta variant. Sahpra’s board-chairperson, Prof. Helen Rees says they are currently looking at the latest data from the Sinovac vaccine, which has also submitted to the World Health Organisation.
At the same time, the Health Department says significant quantities of vaccine doses should become available from the third quarter of this year. An initial consignment of 300 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrived in the country last week to kickstart the inoculation of teachers and school support staff. Another 1.2 million J & J doses will arrive this week. The Department says by the end of the month, South Africa will receive an allocation of 1-point-3-million Pfizer vaccines via the Covax facility. Between July and September, another 8.5 million Pfizer jabs will be delivered. South Africa has secured 31 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine, 30 million of Pfizer and 12 million from Covax.