Picture: Reuters
Picture: Reuters

Presidency confirms arrival of J&J vaccines at OR Tambo this evening

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Feb 16, 2021

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DURBAN - The country will receive its first delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine tonight. According to the Presidency, the vaccines are set to arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng.

"The vaccine has been approved by South African Health Products Authority. The consignment will be moved to a secure facility in Gauteng before being distributed overnight to the various vaccine centres in all provinces," Presidency spokesperson Phumla William said.

William said due to logistical purposes around the arrival of the vaccines this evening, no media access can be granted.

She added that the media, will however, be invited to key vaccination milestone events around the country over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, according to Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, deputy director of the UCT's Desmond Tutu HIV Centre and an infectious diseases specialist, SA has to administer all 80 000 Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 doses before it can receive more vaccines.

Bekker, who is the national co-ordinator of the rollout for health care workers, said if SA administers the doses, a further 200 000 more doses has been promised.

"They will be coming in tranches of 80 000 to these 17 sites for the first two weeks and we will then move to the next phase where we will be targeting more people,” she said.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, chairperson of the South African Medical Association, said the rollout will include two-thirds to the public sector and one-third to the private sector.

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