Coronavirus : South Africa Finally launches Vaccination Campaign with Johnson & Johnson Vaccines

Coronavirus : South Africa Finally launches Vaccination Campaign with Johnson & Johnson Vaccines

South Africa begins its COVID-19 vaccination programme with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after  receiving 80,000 doses of the vaccine on Tuesday.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize were the first to be given the single dose vaccine along with healthcare workers as part of observational study to kick off the vaccination campaign.

In a bid to dissipate fears amongst South Africans sceptical about the spread of all misinformation on the vaccine, President Ramaphosa indicated that, “This day marks a milestone for South Africa. Finally, the vaccines are here, and they are being administered,” he said shortly after receiving the vaccine.

Besides, Ramaphosa urged healthcare workers to get the vaccine, “taking the vaccine was quick, easy and not so painful. I urge all our healthcare workers to register to receive their vaccinations as they are our first line of defence against the coronavirus pandemic.” He added.

South Africa which is Africa’s worst-hit country was due to start its vaccine rollout last week after receiving early in February, one million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India. But, the vaccination campaign was delayed  following a study that showed ineffective results against the country's new Covid-19 variant.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will therefore be administered to 100,000 people first, in order to observe its possible sides effects, before spreading the vaccine to the entire nation. However, the country have secured nine million doses in total and more doses are expected according to President Ramaphosa.

Besides , South African officials say the country has secured 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, with deliveries expected to begin at the end of March. The goal is by the end of the year to have immunised 40 million people, or  67 percent of the population.

The single-dose vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is the first to be used outside a clinical trial and is not yet approved for general use anywhere in the world. However, the vaccine has been shown to offer 57 percent protection against moderate to severe COVID-19 infections caused by a more transmissible new variant.

Apart from bilateral deals with manufacturers, South Africa is sourcing its vaccines from the World Health Organization-backed Covax scheme, as well as through an African Union programme”, quoted from BBC

Covax is a global initiative in which countries pool their resources to support the development of vaccines with a view to ensure that all countries receive a fair supply of effective vaccines. 

Author’s Posts