The much scheduled first batch of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines has arrived last night at OR Tambo International Airport today.
Experts from the South African Medical Research Council collaborated with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to make the vaccinations available to healthcare workers registered on government’s electronic vaccination data system.
The rollout, due to take place from Wednesday, would be coordinated through the Sisonke open-label COVID-19 vaccine programme.The first batch of 80,000 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will be dispatched to 17 sites across the country and will be scaled up gradually.
Professor Linda-Gail Bekker is part of the local team leading research into the vaccine. She explained, that the study allowed them to roll the vaccine out while waiting for authorisation for its commercial use from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.Last week, South Africa stopped the rollout of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine after a small local study found that the vaccine provided minimal protection against mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients infected with the second variant of the virus.