South Africa has an estimated population approaching 60 million. To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, the government recently set the ambitious goal of vaccinating 67% of the population - roughly 40 million people. According to the outline of this plan, this would be achieved within 2021. But is this ambitious target even feasible?
The elephant in the room is that the government has set a target of immunising two thirds of the population but it hasn't as yet secured the 80 million doses this would require.
This is what we know. South Africa had committed to purchasing enough vaccines for up to about 10% of the population through the COVAX facility - roughly 12 million doses. The facility is a global collaboration for speeding up the development, manufacture and "equitable" distribution of new vaccines. These vaccines are likely to become available from February onward and spread out over the course of the next few months.
The Department of Health has also indicated that 20 million doses of vaccine will likely be received by the end of June or July. As such, it appears that the government has been successful in procuring an additional 6.5 million over and above vaccines from...