More than 10 KZN hospitals to administer Covid-19 vaccine
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Durban - THE second batch of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines arrived in South Africa on Saturday, when the vaccination drives across the country were in full swing, with more than 67 000 health-care workers vaccinated since February 17.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said as of 6.30pm on February 27, 67 303 health-care workers were vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol.
The second batch of the J&J vaccine landed at the OR Tambo International Airport from Brussels and the vaccine was moved to a secure facility in Gauteng, before it will be delivered to various vaccine centres in all provinces.
During her recent lunchtime chat, Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said more than 8 500 KZN health-care workers had been vaccinated by Friday, February 27, after midday. She believed that by the end of the weekend, the 10 800 vaccines they had received would be used.
Simelane said when they started vaccinating, they said they would have three phases.
The first would be the vaccination of health-care workers. Phase two would be the vaccination of front-line workers, such as teachers and police officers, as well as people in prisons, old age homes, people over 60 years of age, and people with comorbidities.
Then phase three would be those remaining in the community.
She said it would be announced when phase one was completed and people would be required to register to be vaccinated, and then vaccination sites or clinics would be used to vaccinate.
Simelane said they expected the second batch of vaccines to arrive in KZN today and it would be distributed to four hospitals – Edendale Hospital, General Justice Gizenga Mpanza Regional (Stanger) Hospital, Madadeni Hospital and Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital.
“Right now, there is no indication as to how many vaccines we will get but we might get the same as last time,” said Simelane.
She said, in the third phase, some vaccines will go to Ngwelezana Hospital, GJ Crookes, Hlabisa Hospital and Ladysmith Hospital.
“These are different districts, so all health-care workers from those districts can be vaccinated, including community health centres (CHC),” said Simelane.
She said the last batch would be sent to Dundee Hospital, Christ the King Hospital and Benedictine Hospital.
“I took the decision to be vaccinated along with health-care workers from eDumbe CHC, because it’s where I’m from,” said Simelane.
In his State of the Province Address on Friday, Premier Sihle Zikalala said the vaccine roll-out programme was progressing well and at least 33 399 people had already registered for the first phase of the vaccine roll-out programme in the KZN.
Mkhize recently revealed that they planned to sell the AstraZeneca vaccine to the African Union and it would be distributed to at least 20 African countries.
On Saturday, the US Food and Drug Administration announced the emergency use authorisation of the J&J vaccine for adults, aged 18 and older, following Friday's endorsement by the agency's panel of outside experts.
The vaccine is one of the few that has been tested in clinical trials against the so-called South African Covid-19 variant (501Y.V2) and had a 64% efficacy rate at preventing moderate-to-severe disease in South Africa.
J&J chairperson and chief executive Alex Gorsky said as they continued to pursue regulatory authorisation around the world, the company was on track to make the vaccine available on a not-for-profit basis for pandemic emergency use and they were confident in the strength of the data from their clinical trials. Tested at the height of the pandemic, the vaccine has shown its potential to significantly reduce the burden of severe disease with just one immunisation.
Meanwhile, according to the national Department of Health, as of Saturday, the province had a total of 328 870 positive cases, but only 9 624 of those were active cases. There were 309 638 recoveries, 9 608 deaths and 374 new cases.