Covid vaccines to land in South Africa on Monday – what will happen once they arrive

This article first appeared in the Daily Maverick on 31 January 2021

By Adèle Sulcas

One million Covid-19 vaccines will land at OR Tambo on Monday 1 February. The jabs will be reserved for health workers. But how will they get to the workers and what will happen to the shots once they get here? We break it down for you.

The one million Covishield vaccine doses South Africa is getting are produced under licence from AstraZeneca by the Serum Institute of India. Another 500,000 will arrive later this month.

The jabs are 70% efficacious in preventing Covid-19, research has shown, and two shots are required. The second shot needs to be given between four and 12 weeks after the first one – SA’s ministerial advisory committee recommends 12 weeks.

The AstraZeneca jab’s efficacy is lower than that of the Pfizer/BioNTech (95%) and Moderna (94.1%) vaccines, but higher than that of the Novavax (49.4% in South Africa) and Johnson & Johnson (57% in South Africa) vaccines.

Read more: Covid-19 vaccines arrive in SA

Scroll to top