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South Africa is about to start vaccinating against Covid-19 after initial hiccup

12 February 2021 2:46 PM

Africa’s Covid-19 epicentre is about to start rolling out vaccines proven to be effective against the 501.V2 variant.

Click here for all our Covid-19 articles in one place.


Mass-vaccinations against Covid-19 - on hold before they even began – will not be delayed “by much”, promised President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday.

The government halted the rollout of AstraZeneca’s vaccine after clinical trials showed it to offer “minimal protection” against mild and moderate cases of Covid-19 caused by an infection with the variant of the SARS-CoV-2 that dominates in South Africa (501.V2).

Phase-one of the rollout, targeting healthcare and frontline workers, will now use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has proven to be effective against the variant.

Aspen will produce 30 million J&J Covid-19 vaccines at its facility in the Eastern Cape. © Horst Koenemund/123rf.com

The government has so far procured nine million doses.

The first batch of 80 000 will arrive next week, Ramaphosa said in his State of the Nation Address.

Consignments totalling 500 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines will arrive in South Africa over the next four weeks, he said, while a further 12 million doses have been secured from the global Covax facility.

Lester Kiewit interviewed EWN healthcare correspondent Kevin Brandt.

The study carried out in South Africa… found the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has an 85% efficacy in preventing severe Covid-19… a 57% efficacy against the 501.V2 variant…

Kevin Brandt, health reporter - EWN

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




12 February 2021 2:46 PM

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'Drinking is how we celebrate and mourn. It’s who we are'

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