Healthcare experts have said that for the government to expeditiously vaccinate two-thirds of a country of 58 million people, it will have to pool resources from the private sector at a scale never done before in South Africa.

But so far the government has not laid out a clear strategy on how it will roll out and vaccinate millions of people, even as cases of coronavirus reach record highs every day due to a new, more contagious variant identified around mid December.

Health Minister Mkhize said on Thursday that the country plans to vaccinate 40 million people within a year to achieve herd immunity.

Dis-Chem has three big warehouses with cold chain storage and distribution facilities across South Africa and can keep vaccines at cold temperatures of between 2 and 8 degree Celsius, Kruger added.

Clicks, in an emailed response, said: “Our network is immediately ready for the distribution and administration of vaccines.”

It has nurses and pharmacists in stores poised to support the implementation, it added.

Clicks runs South Africa’s biggest drug distribution and bulk and wholesale supplier, called United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD), which currently services Aspen Pharmacare , which will manufacture the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.