S. Africa commences coronavirus vaccine campaign

After the rollout was postponed over fears that the Oxford-AstraZeneca combination would not protect against a widespread variant, South Africa unveiled its coronavirus vaccine campaign on Wednesday using Johnson & Johnson jabs.

A nurse at a hospital in Khayelitsha township in Cape Town was the first to be immunized, hours after the first batch of 80,000 doses arrived in the country late Tuesday, according to EastAfrican.

When she got the jab, which was broadcast on live television, she appeared relaxed.

At an event closed to the public, South Africa took delivery of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines, a departure from the fanfare two weeks ago when the Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs were received.

The new vaccines, approved only recently by the national health authorities, were distributed overnight to 16 vaccination centres.

The stock is part of a consignment from the American pharmaceutical giant of nine million doses that South Africa received.

As part of a report by the country’s medical research body, the first doses will be given to healthcare staff.

The next four weeks will see another 420,000 doses delivered.

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