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UPDATE 1-South Africa targets 5 million elderly people in phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Sun 16th May, 2021 7:52pm
(Adds details, background)
    JOHANNESBURG, May 16 (Reuters) - South Africa will launch
phase two of its vaccine rollout on Monday with the aim of
inoculating five million citizens aged over 60 by the end of
June, its health minister said. 
    "This is provided that the supply of vaccines flows as
anticipated. By the end of June we expect to have received 4.5
million doses of Pfizer  PFE.N  and 2 million doses from Johnson
& Johnson  JNJ.N ," the minister, Zweli Mkhize, said during a
webinar on Sunday.
    Mkhize said that more than 325,000 doses of the Pfizer
vaccine would arrive at midnight on Sunday, bringing the total
of Pfizer doses up to 975,780. 
    So far South Africa has ordered enough COVID-19 vaccines for
46 million of its 60 million population. 
    The health minister said the country was still awaiting the
Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be released by the United States
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after its administration was
paused and then restarted two weeks later due to concerns over
blood clots.  
    South Africa is Africa's worst-hit country in terms of
infections and fatalities, with over 55,000 deaths and more than
1.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.
    Fears of a third wave of the coronavirus have surfaced in
recent weeks following the detection of two new variants in the
country originating from India and the United Kingdom, as well
as the slow rollout of vaccines.
    The health minister said just under 480,000 health care
workers had been vaccinated in the first phase, out of a target
of 1.2 million. 

 (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, Editing by William Maclean and
Susan Fenton)
 ((; +27117753153; Reuters
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