South Africa is well ahead of schedule in rolling out the delivery of the Johnsons and Johnson (J&J) vaccine through the Sisonke Programme.
This was announced on Saturday by the Department of Health after the country received its second consignment of the 80 000 J&J doses.
The department said that the programme has exceeded expectations nationally.
“Within just over one week, from a standing start, 63,648 patient-facing healthcare workers in the public and private sector have been vaccinated against COVID19,” the department said in a statement.
South Africa’s second tranche of Johnson&Johnson #COVID19 vaccines have touched down at OR Tambo Int! It comes as the majority of initial doses received two weeks ago have been administered to healthcare workers via the #SisonkeProject. #VaccineRollOutSA pic.twitter.com/ksTx0hDr76
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) February 27, 2021
“The rapid rollout of the vaccine to healthcare workers is a critical first step in the three-phase national vaccination roll-out plan.”
It said that it was aware of challenges dispersed across the country and that it was working “hard to solve these problems as efficiently as possible.”
Last week chaos unfolded at several vaccination centres across the country, causing a logistical nightmare as health care workers scrambled for jabs.
The department has since appealed to healthcare workers to practice patience as it continues to scale up the roll-out. It said that was in the process to extend the programme outside major centres.
“In order to ensure the quickest and most efficient rollout possible, the rollout will be adjusted so that the selection of new and additional vaccination sites will start early next week, ahead of schedule. This will occur in consultation with provinces and will seek to extend the programme outside major centres.”
It said that the demand for the early access JnJ vaccine continues to increase