The South African government has started working on mechanisms to vaccinate undocumented citizens in its country as it seeks to reach its herd immunity of 41 million people.
It estimated that South Africa is home to over five million migrants from across the globe, including Zimbabweans. President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed the vaccination plan last night while updating the nation on the state of Covid-19.
He said they had identified 2 000 vaccination centres countrywide and that people will be expected to register online to get the jabs.
President Ramaphosa said so far, over 250 000 health workers had received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as part of the Sisonke trial.
“Under Phase 2 we hope to vaccinate more of our people over six months,” he said.
“We are developing mechanisms to identify and register undocumented persons so that they too can be vaccinated.”
President Ramaphosa said the Phase 2 vaccination programme will start mid-May.
He said they had since secured 11 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has proved to be effective against the dominant variants in that country.
“We have secured a further 20 million doses and are finalising the agreement with Johnson & Johnson, and we are also finalising an agreement for 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses.
“Together, this supply of vaccines will provide us with enough doses to vaccinate 41 million people,” said President Ramaphosa.
He said further announcements will be made once the negotiations have been concluded.
President Ramaphosa said Pretoria was at various stages of negotiations with the manufacturers of other vaccines such as Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Sputnik V.
Some of these manufacturers, he said, were in the final stages of the approval process for use in South Africa.
“In addition to the vaccine doses, we will receive directly through our agreements with manufacturers, we will also receive an allocation of vaccine doses through the African Union initiative that we established when we held the Chairship of the African Union,” said President Ramaphosa.