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Another step in the vaccine rollout

JOBURG – The introduction of the Sinovac Life Science manufactured vaccine is a turning point and much-needed relief for the country`s vaccination rollout programme, says acting health minister.

Vaccine rollout aims to take massive stride forward as police and over 50s now eligible for their jabs.

The country’s vaccine rollout has been criticised by many, stating that it is the best chance for life to return to normal. In an effort to fulfil this, the National Health Department opened vaccine registrations to those aged 50 and above. Along with those over 60, they will be able to register for their Covid-19 vaccine on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

On July 5, the South African Police Service launched its national vaccination drive at Orlando Stadium where around 1000 officers received their Johnson & Johnson jab. According to the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, they plan to vaccinate over 180 000 of its members in the coming weeks.

On the day, Cele, along with National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole and operational officers Sergeant Natasha Govender and Constable Tebogo Rafapa, were the first to be in inoculated against Covid-19.
The Department of Basic Education continues to urge teachers and staff to get vaccinated, following reports that around 10 000 teachers and staff opted not to get their jab. Although optional, the department has reminded teachers and staff that the vaccine is the best bet to stay protected against Covid-19.

As of July 5, more than 333 000 teachers and support staff have since been vaccinated with another 282 512 staff remaining. In addition, support staff from independent schools, food handlers, screeners, cleaners and ECD practitioners will also be included in the rollout programme, stated the department.

The Health Department also welcomed the approval of the CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccine by the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA).
According to the acting Minister of Health Mamoloko Kubayi, the usage of the Sinovac Life Science manufactured vaccine is a turning point and much-needed relief for the country`s vaccination rollout programme. She expressed, “On behalf of the department, I would like to express gratitude to our regulatory authority for their sense of urgency, which included reducing turnaround time to process applications for registration of medical products – Covid-19 vaccine in particular – without compromising their strict guidelines to ensure the safety of our people.”

Accordingly, SAHPRA has indicated that while it considered the submitted data acceptable at this point, the authorisation is subject to a number of conditions, including submission by the manufacturer of the final results of ongoing clinical studies.

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