Mkhize district concern COVID-19 vaccinate mkhize

Photo: Flickr / GCIS

SA on track to vaccinate 40 000 healthcare workers by Wednesday

As of 18:00 on Monday, SA has vaccinated 23 059 healthcare workers. Here’s the way forward according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize district concern COVID-19 vaccinate mkhize

Photo: Flickr / GCIS

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said a total of 23 059 healthcare workers were vaccinated as of 18:00 on Monday 22 February 2021. While discussing the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, he said that beyond that cut off time, over 8 000 healthcare workers were vaccinated during Monday’s working hours. 

South Africa has now joined 87 countries globally in the next phase of the fight against COVID-19 and according to Mkhize, the programme is rapidly gaining momentum. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, however, took to Twitter slamming the minister for his “utter incompetence”. 


The Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday 16 February 2021. Sister Azoliswa Gidi-Dyosi received the first vaccine the very next day on 17 February. 

“This marked the beginning of a historic campaign to save lives and livelihoods,” Mkhize said.  

“We are on course to complete the first 40 000 by Wednesday and the provinces have committed to the target of 80 000 vaccines completed two weeks from the date of arrival,” he added. 

In other words, by Tuesday 2 March, 80 000 healthcare workers should have been vaccinated.

“The next batch of 80 000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines will arrive this Saturday, 27 February 2021,” he added. 

Ndlozi was highly disappointed with the numbers, he said; 

“Utter Incompetence: they can make over 10 million people vote in a single day. Surely vaccination of 80K HEALTH WORKERS, who are already working in Health institutions is possible in a day. Infrastructure is ALREADY there. Yet, true to their INCOMPETENCE they report 23K in four days”. 


Statistics show that in South Africa, healthcare workers are 3-4 times more likely than the general population to develop COVID-19. 

“This is reflected by the 54 685 health workers who have been infected in the public sector, with 779 having passed on. They have borne the brunt of the psychosocial distress of this pandemic by having to fulfil many roles for patients who have been in isolation in their facilities,” said Mkhize. 

Mkhize said getting vaccinated represents hope of relief from the unrelenting pressures of this pandemic. 

“It is for these reasons that we did everything in our power to ensure that key developments in the characteristics of the virus did not derail us from our plans to begin vaccination in February. We were never asleep- we chose a strategy that was guided by science as we did not have the financial muscle to make unhedged bets,” said Mkhize. 

“Our approach has paid off as we have been able to be nimble and precise around the tricky issue of the variant,” he added.