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SA's second batch of the J&J vaccine due to land at ORTIA today

The new doses will be taken to a central location in Gauteng and from there they will be dispatched to the vaccination cites across the country.

A vaccinator preparing the COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s second batch of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is due to land at the OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday.

More than 63,000 health care workers have already received their shot of the vaccine, 10 days into the rollout.

The new doses will be taken to a central location in Gauteng and from there they will be dispatched to the vaccination cites across the country.

WATCH: National vaccine rollout underway

The vaccine has yet to be officially licensed in South Africa and was being administered as part of an implementation study which is an extension of the study that showed the vaccine was effective against the variant that sprang up in South Africa.

Head of the Ministerial Advisory Council on vaccines Professor Barry Schoub said that vaccine was the most promising, but there were still a lot of questions to be answered around vaccines from other manufacturers.

“The one question mark that we have as South Africa is a notorious period. We have got good data on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but where you don’t have data is for the other vaccines with the variant. That’s the problem. Because the variant is only dominant in South Africa. But of course we haven’t had the rollout in South Africa yet.”
At the same time, US regulators said they would work quickly to authorize Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine for emergency use.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was expected to decide on emergency use by Sunday.
A panel of advisors consisting of doctors, infectious disease experts, and medical researchers voted unanimously that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks.

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