COVID-19 in SA: Over 100 000 healthcare workers vaccinated

South Africa has recently reached another milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic – one year since the first case was detected

COVID-19 in SA: Over 100 000 healthcare workers vaccinated

The South African government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme appears to have made some strides, with more than 100 000 healthcare workers having been administered the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as of 18:30 on Friday, 5 March 2021.

This comes a little over a month since the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country from Belgium. Since then, a second shipment of the vials has been received and government has already managed to secure more doses from other manufactures.

Here are the vaccines South Africa can expect in the coming months

  • 12 million doses in total from the global COVAX facility. Approximately 2 million doses are expected in March, so there are still a few weeks to go
  • 9 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson, commencing with delivery in the second quarter of 2021. Johnson & Johnson has contracted Aspen to manufacture these vaccines in South Africa
  • Pfizer has committed 20 million vaccine doses commencing with deliveries in the second quarter of 2021

Government already plans to vaccinate more than 1,2 million healthcare workers. The “milestone” also comes a day after the country marked a year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified. The events that would follow would undoubtedly turn the country on its head, including a 21-day lockdown and economic consequences of that decision.

Phase 1 of vaccine rollout on track – but can third wave be delayed?

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize paid tribute to healthcare workers, in commemoration of the first case, and emphasised that they needed to ensure that they administer the COVID-19 vaccine to as many workers as possible.

“We need to intensify the use of masks and distancing so we can delay, as much as possible, the next wave. We need to vaccinate as many people as possible. This wave can come quicker or later, depending on how we behave,” he said.

“We want to say to South Africans, the country is on course. We don’t have the same fear we had a year ago. Our health workers are currently receiving vaccines”

South Africa is currently on Phase 1 of the vaccination rollout, which would essentially a precursor to the second and third phases, during which the greater general public will be jabbed. Government plans to vaccinate 40 million people, so as to achieve herd immunity from the respiratory disease.

Source : The South African More