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WATCH: Storm over non-healthcare worker who got vaccinated, claimed J&J doses were expiring

Co-principal investigator of the Sisonke trial, Professor Glenda Gray, said @CapeTownGuy must have lied to get vaccinated as a healthcare worker. Screengrab: Twitter

Co-principal investigator of the Sisonke trial, Professor Glenda Gray, said @CapeTownGuy must have lied to get vaccinated as a healthcare worker. Screengrab: Twitter

Published May 13, 2021


Cape Town – How can you claim to have been vaccinated at this stage if you are not a healthcare worker? This is a question for which many South Africans are seeking answers after a Capetonian who doesn’t work in the healthcare industry created a storm by posting a picture on social media of him being vaccinated.

The technology and motoring journalist and editor, who did not want to be identified or comment any further, also created a stir by claiming that the Johnson & Johnson doses were going to expire, posting on Twitter yesterday: ‘’I got the Vaccine. The doses were going to expire and I was able to register for it. Syringe arm is a bit sore but overall I feel fine.’’

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He later posted: ‘’The nurses today were so excited giving the vaccine out vs throwing it in the bin. People vs bins.’’

In February, he had posted on Facebook: ‘’I can't wait to take the Vaccine when it is my turn! I trust the doctors/professors/scientists, not social media skeptics (sic).’’ He said yesterday he had to queue for four hours before being vaccinated.

When asked how he was able to get vaccinated as a non-healthcare worker, @TheCapeTownGuy replied: ‘’Fair. A message went around saying that they are vaccinating as the vaccines are expiring. And it was open to anyone it seems.’’

This has led to the co-principal investigator of the Sisonke trial, Professor Glenda Gray, denying that the vaccines were expiring, News24 reported.

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’’They expire in one year. We want this Sisonke vaccine to be finished by the end of the week, so that government can do its rollout. We don't want to confuse the public.’’

Ahead of next week’s national vaccine rollout, targeting people aged 60 and above, Gray also reaffirmed that the Sisonke programme is only open to people who work in the healthcare system, saying @CapeTownGuy must have lied.

The Sisonke Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 study started in February and ends at the weekend. Last night, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize indicated that 430 730 people had been vaccinated under the Sisonke Health Protocol.

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"He was naughty. He probably lied. When you go onto the website and register, you have to say, 'I am a healthcare worker'. There's no way to join Sisonke if you are not in the healthcare sector. So this guy must have lied,’’ Gray said. "There are people who are going to jump the queue and be liars.’’

Registering online, a healthcare worker has to provide identity documentation and healthcare worker proof of employment at the time of vaccination.

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Meanwhile, TV presenter and poet Lebo Mashile has also been slated on social media for getting a Covid-19 vaccine this week despite not being a healthcare worker.

According to Mashile, she qualifies because of her work with the African Alliance, a health advocacy organisation.