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Africa’s Virus Capital Risks Becoming Vaccine Laggard

  • South Africa expects first shots via Covax in second quarter
  • Government is in talks to secure alternate vaccine supplies

Photographer: Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images

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South Africa, which has Africa’s worst recorded coronavirus outbreak, may have to wait months to receive its first vaccines even as other countries race to roll out the shots.

The government only expects vaccines that it paid a deposit to secure from the World Health Organization’s Covax program to arrive in the second quarter of 2021, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa. The wait bodes ill for a country that’s confronting a new more virulent strain of the virus, record new infections and a populace that’s increasingly eschewed social distancing.