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Johnson&Johnson Vaccine Lands In SA

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The first 80 000 doses of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine has officially arrived in South Africa. The vaccine landed at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday evening.

The South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) has approved the vaccine, which is being distributed to provinces. 

"We have managed to successfully secure 9 million doses of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine, with the delivery of the first batch of 80,000 on course and the vaccination due to begin this week."
 
"An additional 500,000 doses are expected to arrive over the next four weeks, supplemented by another 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that is expected to be received at the end of March 2021." said Minister Mkhize. 
 
The South African Medical Association (SAMA) said the rollout will begin on Wednesday 17 February 2021. 
 
The Minister said government would continue to follow phase 1 of the vaccine rollout plan, using the Johnson&Johnson vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 
 
SAMA chairperson, Dr Angelique Coetzee, said the association will use the first phase to identify any problems that could interfere with future phases of the rollout. 
 

“We will see what happens. Luckily this first roll out will be with health-care workers. It’s an easy group to monitor. They are at work, they have personnel numbers or in the private sector. It is a confined group of people that make it easier to control than when we start with phase 2. So hopefully we will sort out a lot of problems encountered in phase one,” explains Coetzee.

Health care workers can register to get vaccinated on the vaccine portal by clicking this link and following the steps given on the site: http://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za

The Johnson&Johnson vaccine has a 57% efficacy rate against the 501Y.V2 variant commonly found in South Africa. This is an improvement compared to the AstraZeneca vaccine which was only 22% effective against the Covid-19 variant. 

South Africa has made attempts to find new ways to use the AstraZeneca vaccine, after the Serum Institute of India refused to take back the 1 million vaccines. 

This comes after government discovered the vaccines were due to expire in April, much earlier than anticipated.

Now, South Africa has offered the AstraZeneca vaccines to the African Union. 

"The AstraZeneca doses we purchased have been offered to the AU platform, of which we are part of, and the AU will distribute to those countries who have already expressed interest in acquiring the stock."

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