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South Africa starts largest vaccination campaign in its entire history

17 February 2021 9:02 AM

"Tygerberg Hospital gets 7400 vaccines and Groote Schuur gets 5760. Chris Hani Baragwanath gets just over 11 000," says Mia Malan.

RELATED: UCT trials next-gen Covid-19 vaccine to beat all current and future variants


Some healthcare workers in South Africa are hours away from being vaccinated against Covid-19 with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

Some 80 000 doses that arrived on Tuesday are en route to 16 sites where they will be administered.

South Africa starts vaccinating its exhausted healthcare workers with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine. © instaphotos/123rf

Only healthcare workers registered in the Health Department’s vaccination system will be vaccinated.

By Tuesday afternoon, about 28% of the country’s healthcare workers had registered for vaccination.

The J & J vaccine is 85% effective against severe Covid-19 including disease caused by the 501Y.V2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is prevalent in South Africa.

More doses of J & J’s vaccine are on their way to South Africa, who has offered AstraZeneca's vaccine to the African Union.

South Africa decided against rolling out the AstraZeneca vaccine after a study of its effectiveness against the 501Y.V2 variant has shown disappointing results.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Mia Malan, Director at the Bhekisa Health Journalism Centre.

This batch of J & J vaccines is only registered for use in a research setting. So, we can only use it in this trial that we now are going to have… The nine million doses we get later will need registration for wider use. That is why it’s taking longer…

Mia Malan, Director - Bhekisa Health Journalism Centre

We’re looking towards the end of February, or somewhere in March [registration for wide use] …

Mia Malan, Director - Bhekisa Health Journalism Centre

J & J’s results came quite a bit after the AstraZeneca results…

Mia Malan, Director - Bhekisa Health Journalism Centre

Tygerberg Hospital will be getting 7400 vaccines and Groote Schuur Hospital will get 5760… Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto gets just over 11 000…

Mia Malan, Director - Bhekisa Health Journalism Centre

We won’t be keeping the million AstraZeneca vaccines that will expire at the end of April… They will probably be sold… The WHO recommends using the AstraZeneca vaccine, even in countries with new variants…

Mia Malan, Director - Bhekisa Health Journalism Centre

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




17 February 2021 9:02 AM

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