AstraZeneca doses in the UK.

  • South Africa expects to have 6,300 full-time vaccinators to deliver hundreds of thousand of shots per day. Some of them may be final-year nursing students.
  • The shots will be delivered at special urban centres, and churches and schools, rather than busy clinics and hospitals.
  • You'll be asked to consent to the use of location data. 
  • Here's what we learnt about SA's Covid-19 vaccine plan on Thursday.
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South Africa has secured a million does of coronavirus vaccine due to arrive in January, and another 500,000 due in February, the government announced on Thursday, paving the way for the first inoculations outside of medical trials.

Also on Thursday, health minister Zweli Mkhize gave Parliament a first detailed report on the current plans to vaccinate the broader public.

Here's what we now know about the South African government's plans for large-scale coronavirus vaccination.

You may get your vaccine injection from a final-year nursing student

The envisaged rate of inoculation comes to around 316,000 vaccinations per day, the government says, with most vaccines requiring two doses.

See also | 70% AstraZeneca and 5% Pfizer: These are the vaccines you’re most likely to get in SA

To get those into arms, it anticipates having 6,300 people, full time, delivering shots to 50 people per day.

"Additional vaccinators" may be drawn from doctors and nurses who have completed their community service, as well as final-year medical and nursing students.

In urban areas, you may go to a mass vaccination centre, and in other parts churches and schools may host pop-up clinics 

The government anticipates setting up mass vaccination centres in urban areas for high-throughput delivery of vaccines – and to keep the pressure off hospitals and clinics dealing with sick people.

Other places that you may have your jab include community halls, churches, and schools.

You'll be asked to – and perhaps required to – consent to the use of location data

The consent form envisaged before you receive your vaccination will include permission both to use personal data and "to use location data", the government says.

Just what data, and what exactly it will be used for, has not yet been determined. But plans also include sending reminders to receive a second dose, and finding those who miss follow-up appointments.

The government hopes to record the reasons for those who refuse a vaccine, and find those who miss second doses

Plans for a dashboard system to track the progress of vaccine rollout include capturing the reasons given for vaccine refusal, and a track-and-trace system for no-adherent patients, those who do not show up to receive their second shot.

Two-shot vaccines will be by far the most common ones administered in South Africa, as plans stand.

You'll have an app that can prove you've been vaccinated

The government is working on an "electronic vaccination data system", or EVDS, with the promise that recipients will have an app they can use for proof of vaccination.

Paper-based certification may only be available "where appropriate and required".

A special compensation scheme may be set up

The government anticipates additional cost of vaccination to include a "no-fault immunisation compensation scheme", without providing details.

Such schemes are increasingly common around the world, and Canada recently announced it would create its first, for the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

"No fault" schemes seek to compensate people who have severe adverse reactions to vaccines without the complications of legal action – and while maintaining public confidence in getting vaccines.

Common side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine most South Africans are likely to receive include tenderness or itching at the site of injection, and a general feeling of fatigue. Some dizziness and abdominal pain has been reported by recipients, but those symptoms were very rare.

Suspected serious adverse effects due to the vaccine were found to be unrelated, and vaccine recipients are most likely to die from road crashes and homicide, a study showed.

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