BSA – Daily Update 26 February 21

Dear B4SA and healthcare colleagues

You will undoubtedly have followed developments over the past few days related to the South African COVID-19 vaccine acquisition and rollout programme. Colleagues will be aware that we established the B4SA vaccine platform to provide up-to-date information on bilateral and multilateral engagements with government, hopefully enabling businesses to respond to the latest news.

To this end, we would like to update you.

South Africa was the first country in the world to officially roll out the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine, which arrived on 16 February at the OR Tambo International Airport before being distributed overnight to the provinces’ various vaccine centres.

On Wednesday, documents released by the US Food and Drug Administration stated that the single-shot J&J vaccine was highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19, including the more contagious variant (501Y.V2).

According to media reports, trials indicated the efficacy against severe COVID-19 cases in South Africa was  73%, 14 days after vaccination, increasing to 82% at least 28 days after vaccination.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told Parliament on Tuesday that the second batch of J&J 80 000 vaccines will arrive on Saturday, 27 February.

Stay safe.

Martin Kingston, Chairman, B4SA SteerCo

Government Communication: COVID-19 vaccination message guideline – 26 February

The Government produces regular communications with useful COVID-19 information and the ‘I Choose #VacciNation’ campaign material free for use by business to help inform employees, customers, and communities.

NEW: COVID-19 vaccination message guideline 

The COVID-19 Vaccination Message Guideline was developed by the Communication Work Stream of the Technical Committee of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Vaccinations.

The guide includes current official information about COVID-19 and the vaccination programme and answers to frequently requested information such as: vaccine safety, effectiveness and sourcing; the different vaccines being procured or considered; current vaccine rollout policy and plans; responses to the most pressing vaccine related questions and “myths”; along with other communications resources.

Please note: this messaging guideline is free for use by business and will be updated periodically by Government.

Download the guide here.



Risk Assurance


  • A risk dashboard detailing the key risks identified by each workstream together with mitigating actions was presented to the B4SA Steering Committee on Friday, 19 February.
  • The project managers of all workstreams attended the Risk Assurance Workstream meeting on Tuesday, 23 February, to ensure that evolving risks and mitigating actions are regularly considered and updated by each workstream.
  • Risk workshops were held with the Costing/Funding Workstream and the Logistics/Cold Chain/Distribution Workstream. These were useful in better understanding the plans for both workstreams and refining the risks.


Vaccine Logistics, Cold Chain and Distribution

Phase 1:

Vaccine distribution plan: The Hospital Distribution Model for Phase 1(a) is complete for both the private and the public sector. The vaccine brand will influence the completed plan.

Work in respect of Phase 1(b) is underway with the assistance of various stakeholders. The clarity concerning financial flows remains outstanding, and this may impact the plan.

J&J Vaccine: Mapping of Ensemble sites and linking hospital sites to the ensemble vaccination facilities is compete for both the public and private sectors. This information has been provided to the EVDS team to load and assist in directing vaccination candidates to the correct vaccination sites.

Third-party distributors: The National Department of Health Distribution tender for third-party distributors was issued on 8 February. The closure of the Tender has been extended to 26 February.

Phase 2: 

We will build the foundation for Phase 2 from the information collected from Phase 1(b).

An API has been established to the Master Facility List (MFL), which will enable daily updates to be fed directly into the distribution model and ensuring planning is continuously aligned to newly identified vaccination sites.

An interface to EVDS is being established to provide visibility into vaccination site queues to enhance the vaccine site replenishment system.

Phase 3:

Stats SA population data has been overlayed on the vaccine site geo-mapping to see where additional vaccination sites need to be established. This is to ensure rural communities are adequately covered in the vaccination program.