South Africa is targeting an ambitious plan to vaccinate one million people against COVID-19 by the end of March after a late start to its inoculation campaign, the country’s health minister said Thursday.

So far around 32,000 healthcare workers have received vaccinations developed by US pharma giant Johnson & Johnson since 17 February, when the rollout began with a first batch of 80,000 doses.

The country, which was slow to join in the global jostle for vaccines, hopes to take delivery of another 500,000 doses from Johnson & Johnson in the coming days.

Thereafter, a consignment of 600,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine will follow.

“This will be able to get over 1.1 million people vaccinated between now and hopefully the end of March,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told lawmakers.

That will cover most of the country’s healthcare workers.


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