President Cyril Ramaphosa, addressing the nation on developments in the country’s response to the pandemic, has announced that South Africa has vaccinated more than 67% of its public healthcare workers with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires a single dose.
The first phase of the program saw nearly 480,000 health workers vaccinated, and about two weeks ago, the country started the second phase of the vaccination program, targeting health workers who were not vaccinated during the first phase, and all those in the country above 60 years of age.
“Since the evidence shows that older people are at a far greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death, we have prioritized the elderly for this second phase. Over the last two weeks, over 480 000 people received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, as part of the public vaccination campaign” the President said
The use of the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to provide maximum immunity to its recipient, hence people will need to have a second dose at least 42 days after their first dose. It is to this the President assured that within the next few days, the country will have administered vaccine doses to more than one million of the most vulnerable South Africans following over 960,000 who have received the first dose.
Presently, across South Africa, there are now more than 400 vaccination sites in operation, in both the public and private sectors, and according to the President, enough vaccines have been secured to reach all adults in the country, which number around 40 million people. This includes 31 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single dose to be manufactured in South Africa, and 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses to provide full protection.