JOHNSON & Johnson clinical vaccination trial for front-line workers at Mediclinic Medforum. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHNSON & Johnson clinical vaccination trial for front-line workers at Mediclinic Medforum. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Sisonke vaccine study will conclude at the end of April, says Prof Glenda Gray

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – The Sisonke implementation study will conclude at the end of April, says Prof Glenda Gray, co-principal investigator of the study.

The study was launched on February 17 to help speed up the plan, while an application for commercial use of the Johnson & Johnson shot was being finalised.

More than 260 000 of health workers in the country have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine under the Sisonke Early Access Programme.

The study aims to vaccinate half a million health-care workers, out of an estimated 1.5 million in South Africa, by the end of April, says Gray, with the national vaccine roll-out programme expected to pick up where Sisonke leaves off.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that the study team has done to execute this. The teams have been working 24/7. We hope to conclude the Sisonke 3b open study by the end of April when the last 200 000 doses come in on the 10th of April,” she said.

Gray also said that they hope to penetrate more rural areas especially in the Eastern Cape, Northern and Southern KwaZulu Natal as well as some parts of the Free State in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, addressing the nation on Tuesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Phase 2 of the vaccination roll-out is expected to begin in May until October.

Ramaphosa said the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme aims to ensure that we will protect our communities, prevent health services from being overwhelmed and reduce the need for lockdowns.

The president also announced that the government had secured 11 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and was finalising to get a further 20 million doses from Johnson & Johnson.

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