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Dept revises number of healthcare workers to be vaccinated in WC

The department’s Dr Aquina Thulare said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had reached stage four approval and was almost ready for full market authorisation.

Private sector general practitioners are lining up on Sunday, 21 February 2021, to receive their inoculations at Groote Schuur and Tygerberg Hospitals in the Western Cape. Picture: Lizell Persens/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG — The department of health said it would no longer be vaccinating over a million healthcare workers, but just over 600,000.

It briefed the health portfolio committee on Tuesday on the vaccine rollout plan.

The department said the vaccination programme aimed to ensure community survival and prevent lockdowns.

The health department has given Parliament an update on the vaccine pipeline and the status of vaccine approvals by regulatory authorities.

The department’s Dr Aquina Thulare said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had reached stage four approval and was almost ready for full market authorisation.

However, she said not as many health workers would be vaccinated as originally planned.

“Initially, we had said 1.2 [million health workers would be vaccinated] but based on our resources, we’ll be able to vaccinate 608, 295 in phase one of the healthcare workers, starting with the Sisonke - which is giving us 300,000 doses."

Thulare has also given an update on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been sold to other countries.

“Around 39,000 doses that are remaining in the country that will be returned to the countries that wish to use these vaccines".

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