Third batch of the J&J COVID vaccine arrives in SA, more expected this week

Vaccine trial co-lead Professor Linda-Gail Bekker said 50 inoculation sites have been identified as more front-line health workers line up to receive their jabs.

FILE: The first shipment of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine arrives at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 16 February 2021. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG – The health department is stepping up its vaccine rollout programme with more doses arriving in the country, and more still to come this week.

A third batch of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has arrived in the country and will be distributed across various sites on Sunday.

Vaccine trial co-lead Professor Linda-Gail Bekker said, “A further allocation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was received yesterday and is being redistributed to sites today so that we can recommence vaccination tomorrow.”

Bekker said 40,000 vials arrived on Saturday, with more doses expected this week.

“That was in the order of 40,000 doses and the good news is that we expect a further allocation mid-week then towards the end of the week again.”

She adds a total of more than 50 inoculation sites have been identified as more front-line health workers line up to receive their jabs.

More than 145,000 health workers have so far been immunised with the Johnson & Johnson jabs.
The government plans on securing nine million doses of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, South Africa's number of active COVID-19 cases dropped by more than 1,800 this weekend.

According to The National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD), of the more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases recorded in the country – since the start of the pandemic – less than 1.6% were still active.

This comes as another 1, 541 new infections were reported since Friday night, along with over 3,000 recoveries, and another 82 COVID-related deaths.

The NICD reports the country is currently dealing with 24,165 active cases of the disease, of which more than 5,000 are in the Western Cape, and just over 2,800 are in Gauteng.

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