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Cape man who claimed J&J doses were expiring and got vaccinated issues apology after uproar

The non-health-care worker who was vaccinated and claimed that the Johnson and Johnson doses were going to expire has issued an apology. Picture: Screengrab/Twitter

The non-health-care worker who was vaccinated and claimed that the Johnson and Johnson doses were going to expire has issued an apology. Picture: Screengrab/Twitter

Published May 14, 2021

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Cape Town – The non-health-care worker who was vaccinated and claimed the Johnson and Johnson doses were going to expire has issued an apology.

In a now-deleted post, the technology and motoring journalist and editor who goes by @TheCapeTownGuy on Twitter, and who did not want to be identified, created a stir on Wednesday when he claimed that the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) doses were going to expire and that he was able to register to get the vaccines as a result.

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On Wednesday, he posted a video with the caption: “I got the vaccine.

“The doses were going to expire and I was able to register for it.

“Syringe arm is a bit sore but overall I feel fine.’’

He later posted: ‘’The nurses today were so excited giving the vaccine out vs throwing it in the bin. People vs bins.’’

An uproar erupted after people started questioning how a non-health-care worker could be vaccinated, which led to the co-principal investigator of the Sisonke trial, Professor Glenda Gray, denying that the vaccines were expiring.

Western Cape Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete added that conflated messaging was the probable cause of the confusion in the expansion of the parameters of the Sisonke vaccine trial, which saw non-health-care workers get vaccinated.

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At the start of the week, the Sisonke vaccine trial expanded the parameters for those who could get vaccinated, and he said that was probably how it ended up that people who were non-health-care workers were vaccinated.

“(The Sisonke trial) is health-care workers with an expanded definition, so that we can maximise all the vaccines available to use under trial conditions, and what is not used by Saturday is returned as part of research protocol for the researchers to conclude.”

He said it had been unfortunate episodes that has arisen out of the expanding of the parameters and that “some have used this opportunistically as a chance to jump the queue”.

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On Thursday night, TheCapeTownGuy took to Twitter and he issued an apology for over the matter.

“Regarding the vaccine situation, I was told that non health-care workers workers could get the vaccine as it was expiring & so I registered as a non health-care worker.

“If I had known otherwise, I would have never registered.

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“I apologise for this terrible error and mistake on my part (sic.).”

Many people on social media reacted in a variety of ways to the apology.

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo also said that there will be an investigation into a fake message that was circulated claiming that vaccines are now open to the public, CapeTalk reported.

The MEC acknowledged that the misleading message originated from a “mischievous” health official in the province, but was not authorised, and said that the provincial Health Department will investigate the matter and institute disciplinary measures.

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