Second shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrive in South Africa [photos]

The second batch of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine touched down in South Africa at the O R Tambo International Airport on Saturday 27 February 2021.

COVID-19 vaccines: Second shipment arrives

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the second batch “comes as the majority of initial doses received two weeks ago have been administered to healthcare workers via the Sisonke Project.”

Government will be the sole purchaser of vaccines – which are procured from different manufacturers – and will distribute supply to provincial governments and the private sector.

As of Friday evening, government administered a total of 63 648 COVID-19 vaccines.

second batch covid 19 vaccine southafrica
Image via Twitter: @DrZweliMkhize

COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said on Friday that the consignment “will be moved to a secure facility in Gauteng”. It will then be distributed to the various vaccine centres across the country.

The second batch – also reserved for frontline healthcare workers – consists of 80 000 Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines from Belgium, now pushing the total number of doses received to 160 000.

The first batch of vaccines arrived 10 days ago, and the J&J single-shot vaccine is approximately 82% effective in preventing severe illness from the COVID-19 strain first discovered in South Africa.

second batch covid 19 vaccine southafrica
Image via Twitter: @DrZweliMkhize

Phased rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine

President Cyril Ramaphosa said during a “family meeting” back in 2020 that South Africa will receive initial vaccines to cover approximately 10% of the population during the “early part” of 2021.

The three-phase rollout strategy began with the most vulnerable in South Africa, and government’s target is to vaccinate 67% of the population by the end of 2021. At that point, we’ll have achieved herd immunity.

Phase 1 will focus on the country’s healthcare workers, while Phase 2 will focus on essential workers, persons in congregate settings, prison inmates, persons over the age of 60 and persons with co-morbidities who are over the age of 18.

Phase 3 will target approximately 22 500 000 South Africans, and will be administered to persons older than 18 years of age.

Now read: COVID-19 a ‘defining moment’ of this generation, says Bill Gates

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Presh JM Reporter

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