SA vaccine rollout kicks off with some high profile inoculations

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South Africa‘s vaccine drive started on Wednesday (18 February) with assurances that there are enough vaccines in the pipeline to inoculate the 40m needed to achieve herd immunity, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said, writes MedicalBrief.

On Tuesday evening, 80,000 Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines arrived and Mkhize said additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine were on the way, with a commitment of 7m by June.

As part of countering vaccine resistance in some quarters, Mkhize and President Cyril Ramaphosa received some of the first doses administered. The government has identified 20 vaccination centres across SA’s nine provinces to inoculate 380,000 health workers, in both the state and private sectors over the next two weeks.

Mkhize said 164 vaccinators would vaccinate around 48 clients each a day, or about six an hour.

During phase two, other frontline workers, including teachers, miners, police officers, soldiers, SA Social Security Agency employees, Department of Home Affairs and post office employees, and people older than 18 with cormobidities and over 60 years will be vaccinated. Prison inmates will also be vaccinated during phase two. Everyone aged 18 years and older who has not been vaccinated will get the shot during the last phase, phase three.

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