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

South Africa is targeting vaccinating about 200,000 people a day from mid-May as the government seeks to scale-up inoculations to tackle the pandemic, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

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

Shortages of doses threaten to upend South Africa’s plans to vaccinate two-thirds of a population of about 60 million people this year, though the country is set to take delivery of 2.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the end of April.

South Africa has been slow to secure vaccines, with just over 230,000 people inoculated so far.

“During the mass vaccination phases we will need to be targeting about 200,000 people per day nationally, with variations across provinces because of the differing concentrations of population,” Mkhize told the newspaper.

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

The government said Thursday it aims to inoculate 1.5 million health-care workers by the end of April, another 13.4 million vulnerable people and essential workers between May and October, and 22.6 million others between November and February.

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