The arrival of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine in SA has been welcomed by many online.
The first delivery of 80,000 J&J vaccines arrived on Tuesday at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and has been approved by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).
Health minister Zweli Mkhize told parliament that the vaccine has a 57% efficacy against the 501Y.V2 variant and is fully protective against serious illness or death.
Mkhize said an additional 500,000 doses are expected to arrive over the next four weeks, supplemented by 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected to be received at the end of March.
“We have identified 20 vaccination centres in all nine provinces to vaccinate 80,000 health workers over the next two weeks. A total of 164 vaccinators will vaccinate approximately 48 clients a day, or about six to seven clients an hour.
“As more doses arrive, the service will be ramped up accordingly to ensure we maintain a good rate of daily vaccinations,” said Mkhize.
The Eastern Cape health department confirmed its doses would arrive on Wednesday.
“We are ready,” said acting superintendent-general Dr Sibongile Zungu.
“We will give the vaccine to health-care workers first because they have bravely been at the forefront in the fight against this invisible enemy since the first case of Covid-19 was reported.”
In the Western Cape, the first jabs will be administered from 2pm.
On social media, Tuesday was dubbed as “vaccine day” as many welcomed the arrival and the rollout.