After a few delays in the vaccine rollout for teachers, things are expected to be back on track soon.
The National Health Department said Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be arriving on Friday afternoon at OR Tambo International Airport.
The aircraft will be carrying 300 000 COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson doses that have been cleared by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as safe for use.
The department’s Technical Advisor, Dr Aquina Thulare confirmed this while addressing the Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health.
The vaccine rollout was put on hold after the FDA made the decision to investigate Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) violations at the J&J factory in Baltimore, United States.
It is through this investigation that the FDA discovered that some vaccine batches had been contaminated, making them unsafe for use.
These vaccine batches were stored at the Aspen pharmacare production plant in Gqeberha, but will no longer be used.
The new batch of 300 000 vaccines arriving on Friday will replace the vaccines that had to be destroyed following the findings of the FDA's investigation.
“The National Control Laboratory is ready to ensure that these vaccines are released on the 21st of June and will start distributing on the 22nd of June, and will start vaccinating immediately thereafter,” said Thulare.
“The FDA did some stability studies on the vaccines they were going to supply to us and the expiry date has been extended by four weeks from the initial date.”
Thulare also shared that the department hopes to vaccinate 300 000 educators and staff workers within 10 days. After this, the department will have 199 000 remaining staffers who will need to be vaccinated with the 1.2 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines arriving next week.