South Africa has secured more than 40 million doses of vaccines as the nation embarks on its mass vaccination drive.

President Cyril Ramaphosa gave his annual state of the nation address on Thursday night, saying government’s primary focus was beating the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have secured 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 12 million vaccines from the Covax facility, Pfizer has committed 20 million vaccine doses; commencing with delivery by the end of the first quarter.”

Ramaphosa acknowledged the setback of last week that saw the initial rollout of Astrazeneca vaccines put on hold following data that showed it was less effective against the South African variant of the virus.

“There is no family, no community in our land and no place of work that has not lost someone they knew, someone they worked with and someone that they loved.”

But he’s moved to calm fears around access to vaccines, saying that his government was working on it.

“We are continuing our engagement with all vaccine manufacturers to ensure that we secure sufficient quantities of vaccines that are suitable for the variant that we have here.”

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