Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the first batch of vaccines will be delivered to South Africa at the start of next week. However, the route this particular consignment is taking has raised a few chuckles.

Zweli Mkhize lauds ‘massive achievement’

According to Mkhize, a total of one million doses – procured earlier this month – are due to land on 1 February, marking the beginning of the biggest vaccination programme ever rolled out in South Africa. The first jabs will go to South Africa’s frontline healthcare workers, and ‘vulnerable citizens’ in the top priority groups.

The government is targeting a total of 40 million people to receive the vaccine in 2021. This, apparently, will see the country reach ‘herd immunity’ from COVID-19. However, the ANC has been accused of falling behind when it comes to procuring these inoculations. Nonetheless, Zweli Mkhize has hailed this incoming delivery as a ‘massive achievement’.

South Africa’s first vaccines: Where will they travel from?

So, where will our vaccines be coming from – and which route will they take? It’s a funny story…

  • The AstraZeneca shots have been procured from India. They will be transported by plane from here.
  • However, there’s a little stopover to note: The vaccine delivery is travelling via Dubai.
  • On Monday 1 February, the SA’s first jabs will land at OR Tambo Airport – with some being administered later on in the day.
  • All of these places have homed the corruption-accused Gupta brothers – who are still considered fugitives in Mzansi.

Special delivery to OR Tambo

Quibbles aside, this procurement marks the first day in the rest of our fight against COVID-19. The second wave peaked earlier this month, and there are quiet rumblings that low transmission numbers will soon lead to the easing of lockdown restrictions. But, for now, we have to rely on the wonders of science to guide us out of this pandemic…

“This [vaccine rollout] is a massive achievement of unprecedented proportions: The first batch of one million doses of the coronavirus vaccine will arrive at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday 1 February. The flight will leave On Sunday from India and will go via Dubai.”

Zweli Mkhize