- The first South African healthcare worker is expected to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination this week
- This comes as the first batch of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines touched down at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday evening
- The consignment has now been moved to a secure facility in Gauteng before being distributed overnight across SA
The first batch of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday evening.
The consignment was subsequently moved to a secure facility in Gauteng before being distributed to vaccine centres across South Africa, according to the government.
The first Covid-19 vaccination to be administered is expected to be given to a healthcare worker on Wednesday afternoon.
The Eastern Cape Department of Health has confirmed that its doses will be set to arrive on Wednesday.
Dr Sibongile Zunu, acting superintendent-general, says that the region will waste no time once the vaccines arrive at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha:
“We are ready. We will give the vaccine to healthcare workers first because they have bravely been at the forefront in the fight against this invisible enemy since the first case of Covid-19 was reported.”
The Western Cape Department of Health says that the first vaccines will be administered from as early as 2pm. Healthcare workers in the public and private sectors will be the first to receive the vaccine as part of the first phase of the mass rollout campaign.
The second phase of the campaign will include other frontline workers including teachers, police officers, soldiers and other government officials. People older than the age of 18 with existing comorbidities and over the age of 60 will also be vaccinated.
The remaining citizens over the age of 18 will then be vaccinated during phase three of the campaign, the final stage.
In the Eastern Cape province, schools and community halls will be used to administer the vaccine with the province targeting over three million people in a bid to achieve herd immunisation:
“It is important to stress that no-one will be forced to take the vaccine. We urge people to contact their ward councillors, nearest clinics or hospitals to get the correct information about the vaccine instead of believing chain messages shared on social media."
The Department of Health further warned that fake news and misinformation akes it even more important to ensure the right information is distributed.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that reports claim that the South African government has opted to send the AstraZeneca vaccines back to India.
The vaccine managed to record positive results across the globe but failed to prevent infections in the 501Y.V2 variant that has become dominant in SA.
The Serum Institute of India, which had produced the batch of vaccines that arrived in SA, is anticipated to collect the consignment.
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