Strict protocols in place for administering of J&J vaccine - WC Health Dept

Through this platform, more than 32,000 health workers in South Africa had already been inoculated since the programme was launched a week ago.

FILE: Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo gets her COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Tygerberg Hospital on 23 February 2021. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Health Department said that strict protocols were guiding the administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines as part of the Sisonke implementation study.

Through this platform, more than 32,000 health workers in South Africa had already been inoculated since the programme was launched a week ago.

Western Cape Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo visited Tygerberg Hospital on Tuesday to get to know the inner workings of the vaccination process at the site.

Department managers make a booking for health workers to receive their COVID-19 vaccine after they've registered and consented to the process.

Provincial Health Department deputy director for child health and immunisation, Sonja Botha, said that once they arrived at a vaccination site, another screening process played out.

"If they've had active COVID with the last 28 days, they opt out of the trial, ladies that are pregnant may not receive the vaccine and also if they have a temperature or other illness, rather not have the vaccine."

Botha, who was supporting the facility through the process, said that only the research pharmacists adjacent to the vaccination site were allowed to draw up the vaccine.

"They draw the vaccine up in a syringe with a needle, they label it with a specific patient's voucher number, so the vaccine being drawn up in the pharmacy is already earmarked for a specific client."

From here the syringe is taken to the vaccinator who administers the jab.

Health workers then move to a designated area where they are monitored for fifteen minutes.