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Government plans to vaccinate 200,000 South Africans per day from mid-May

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South Africa aims to vaccinate around 200,000 people per day from mid-May as the government seeks to step up vaccinations to fight the pandemic, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

The government set up 2,000 centers where the doses would be administered, Mkhize told the Sunday Times newspaper.

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Dose shortages threaten to disrupt South Africa’s plans to immunize two-thirds of a population of around 60 million people this year, despite the country on track to receive 2.8 million vaccines Johnson & Johnson at the end of April.

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South Africa has been slow to get vaccines, with just over 230,000 people vaccinated to date.

“During the mass vaccination phases, we will need to target around 200,000 people per day nationwide, with variation from province to province due to different population concentrations,” Mkhize told the newspaper.

South Africa has so far confirmed 1.54 million coronavirus infections, the most in Africa, and more than 52,000 of those diagnosed with the disease have died, Mkhize said in a statement on Saturday.

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The government on Thursday announced plans to immunize 1.5 million health workers by the end of April, 13.4 million vulnerable people and essential workers between May and October, and 22.6 million more between. November and February.

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