Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Government to lift suspension of J&J Sisonke vaccination programme

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The temporary suspension of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the Sisonke Vaccination Programme will be lifted, government announced on Thursday.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the temporary suspension in South Africa was in line with the government’s commitment to ensure that comprehensive safety measures are undertaken regarding the vaccine rollout.

“The reviewed data had confirmed that South Africa had not experienced any rare blood clots with the already vaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs). Cabinet welcomed the recommendation by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to lift the suspension of the J&J Sisonke Vaccination Programme,” Ntshavheni said.

Last week, South Africa suspended J&J vaccination rollout programme after six people who received the J&J vaccine in the US developed a rare type of blood clot.

“Our scientists will continue to monitor all South Africans as and when they are vaccinated. By mid-April 2021, more than 292 623 HCWs had been vaccinated under the Sisonke Vaccination Programme,” added Ntshavheni.

Furthermore, Cabinet welcomed the successful negotiation of an additional 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which brings the total doses of the Pfizer vaccine to 30 million. This means South Africa will be able to vaccinate 15 million people with the Pfizer vaccine instead of 10 million.

To prepare for Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout programme starting on 17 May, 2021, Cabinet encourages people aged 60 years and older to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za./#/

People without access to the internet can register in person at over 3 338 vaccination sites across the country. Mobile teams will also be deployed to assist the elderly, the homeless and people living in rural areas.

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