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15,000 healthcare workers inoculated so far since start of COVID-19 vaccinations

Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, a co-lead for the clinical trial, said that the vaccine rollout had boosted morale amongst health workers.

 A vaccinator showing a healthcare worker the COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - More than 15,000 healthcare workers in South Africa have so far received a COVID-19 inoculation.

The first healthcare workers in the country were vaccinated at the Khayelitsha District Hospital as part of the Sisonke Early Access Programme last Wednesday.

A local clinical safety and efficacy study found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provided 57% protection against moderate to severe COVID-19, 85% protection against severe disease and 100% protection against death.

The National Health Department said that one-third of the batch of 80,000 vaccines that arrived in the country last week would be allocated to the private sector over the next 14 days.

Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, a co-lead for the clinical trial, said that the vaccine rollout had boosted morale amongst health workers.

"I think it's a learning curve for all of us, we're getting our systems sorted and into the groove and every day I think we'll see an increase in numbers. So, keep coming and we will keep vaccinating."

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