With the first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines arriving in the country from India earlier this week, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on vaccination met to discuss government’s roll-out plan on Thursday.
Cabinet approved the setting up of the IMC on vaccination last month and it is chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.
The purpose of the committee is assist with the quick decision-making from all the relevant departments in effort to ensure a smooth roll-out of the vaccination programme.
The first phase of the roll-out programme will prioritise around 1.2 million front-line health workers.
On Thursday, Mabuza was joined by ministers part of the IMC as they held discussions with traditional leaders, inter-faith leaders and social partners at National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).
The Presidency revealed that all parties involved were committed to be part of the roll-out and further encourage their communities to take part in the vaccination programme.
“Traditional leaders called for the implementation of stringent measures to prevent any possible acts of corruption in the rollout of the vaccines.
“It was also agreed that through Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS), a communication toolkit in all official languages will be developed for communities in order to enhance social mobilisation and garner support for vaccination.
“Equally so, the consultations with inter-faith leaders were positive and they were all united in their commitment to partner with government including availing their facilities as vaccination sites should such a need arise.
“They further called on government to involve young people in the religious sector to counter negative sentiments and fake news about the vaccines,” the Presidency said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Mabuza welcomed the commitment from all parties involved.
“We are encouraged by the positive spirit of cooperation that we received from traditional leaders, inter-faith leaders and social partners at Nedlac.
“We appreciate that this process does not end here, but it is ongoing engagement and partnership as we work together towards population immunity. We are grateful for the commitment to partner as expressed by social partners at Nedlac, traditional leaders and inter-faith leaders.”