South Africa vaccine rollout to resume on Wednesday

Arthur Greene

The rollout of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine will resume on Wednesday, the health ministry has announced, after it was put on hold earlier this month.

Researchers will resume vaccine rollout through the Sisonke Programme, the study which has so far administered over 290,000 jabs to the country’s health care workers.

The vaccine was suspended on 16 April upon the recommendation of US regulators due to extremely rare cases of blood clots. 

On Friday, these regulators gave the J&J vaccine the green light, whilst European regulators have also said that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks.

In a statement released on Monday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said, “It is much better to have the vaccine than to avoid taking it for fear of getting a blood clot.”

This will be welcome news to the government, who have placed an order of 31 million doses of the J&J vaccine, with the first commercial batch of 1.1 million doses due to be dispatched in the coming days.

The government has also secured 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and expects the first 650,000 doses to arrive within the next month, in preparation for the country’s second phase of its vaccination programme.

Starting from 17 May, essential workers, elderly people and adults with comorbidities will begin to receive the vaccine.

Picture source: ABC News

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