SA to receive second batch of J&J Covid-19 vaccines on Saturday
DURBAN: The Health Department is expected to take delivery of its second batch of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine by the weekend.
Speaking during a debate on the government's roll-out plan, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the batch - consisting of 80 000 doses - will arrive on Saturday.
He said SA had joined more than 87 countries in the fight against Covid-19.
"Our programme is rapidly gaining momentum. We have now vaccinated 23 059 people as of yesterday. We are on course to reach 40 000 by this Wednesday," Mkhize said.
In his address, Mkhize said 54 685 health-care workers have contracted Covid-19 in the public sector and 779 have since passed on.
"They have borne the brunt of the psychosocial distress of this pandemic by having to fulfil many roles for patients who have been in isolation in their facilities. For them, vaccination represents hope of relief from the unrelenting pressures of this pandemic," he said.
Mkhize further revealed that SA is selling its doses of the AstraZeneca stock to the African Union, in order to combat wasteful expenditure.
"We have learnt from the AU that these will be distributed to about 20 countries in the continent, who will be in a position to begin protecting their front-line health-care workers. This is a win-win situation. We have further proposed that J&J be preferentially deployed to the southern regions of Africa, so that we can rapidly deal with the variant that is predominant in South Africa and some parts of SADC," Mkhize said.