Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
4 Mar 2021
10:42 am

SA exhausts first batch of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

The second phase of vaccinations is expected to begin in late April.

Healthcare workers administer the first batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Picture: Michel Bega

South Africa has finished its first batch of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in two weeks.

“The number of healthcare workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol is 83,570 as of 3 March 2021. We are very encouraged that our first target of exhausting the first batch of 80,000 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson in two weeks has been achieved and exceeded,” said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

“We have taken every opportunity to learn from this process and continue to refine the programme in preparation for roll out to the larger community in the subsequent phases.”

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The first consignment of the vaccine arrived in South Africa in February, while the second batch arrived this past weekend.

As of Wednesday, South Africa has recorded 1,516,262 positive cases of Covid-19. The total number of deaths is 50,366, with recoveries now standing at 1,434,772, representing a recovery rate of 94.6%.

The country recently signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to secure 11 million doses of the vaccine.

Of these doses, 2.8 million will be delivered in the second quarter and the rest spread throughout the year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week.

South Africa has also secured 20 million doses from Pfizer which will be delivered from the second quarter and 12 million vaccine doses from the Covax facility.

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The country is also in the process of finalising its dose allocation from the African Union.

“The vaccination campaign has so far gone extremely very well. All provinces have established vaccination sites and have put in place expansion plans,” Ramaphosa said.

“Of the 49 sites that will be increased, 17 sites will be in the private hospital sector and the rest will be in the public health sector. We will begin our second phase of vaccination in late April. We will be secured when it comes to vaccines.”

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