Tebogo Msimanga |
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that the first batch of 80 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being prepared for distribution across South Africa with immediate effect.
Ramaphosa said the batch has already been approved by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) under the Sisonke protocol, and these vaccines will be rapidly dispatched to all provinces.
“It is expected that most vaccination centres will be ready from today, 17 February 2021, to begin the vaccination programme.
We are pleased that we can begin vaccination by mid-February, as we had announced. This is despite the fact that the AstraZeneca vaccine that we had procured for this purpose showed little efficacy against the 501Y.V2 variant that is currently dominant in South Africa.”
Ramaphosa congratulated the Vaccine Inter-Ministerial Committee, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize and his team, and the Medical Research Council for responding so rapidly and effectively to this challenge.
Ramaphosa and Mkhie will receive J&J Vaccine today in Khayelitsha.
Meanwhile, Health workers Union is concerned over the lack of details around the vaccine roll-out plan.