Maverick Citizen

VACCINE NATION

One-third of J&J vaccine doses allocated to private sector healthcare workers

South Africa’s vaccination programme kicked off on Wednesday, 17 February, when healthcare workers in all provinces received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine across 17 vaccination sites. (Photo: Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)

By the end of Sunday 21 February, South Africa had administered more than 10,000 of the 80,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine it currently has in stock. The Department of Health aims to administer all 80,000 doses within the next two weeks. It has allocated a third of these to healthcare workers in the private health sector.

More than 3,000 healthcare workers from the private sector had received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine by the end of Sunday, 21 February, according to a health department statement. 

Vaccination had only begun in the private sector on Saturday, 20 February. Over the next 14 days, about 26,000 healthcare workers in the private sector will be vaccinated, according to the Department of Health.

To date, about 40,000 healthcare workers have contracted Covid-19. Of that, more than 6,000 have been hospitalised and 663 have died. South Africa has an estimated 1.25 million healthcare workers.

South Africa’s vaccination programme kicked off on Wednesday, 17 February, when healthcare workers in all provinces received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine across 17 vaccination sites, all at public hospitals. The vaccines had touched down in South Africa barely 24 hours before.

After “productive discussions” with the private sector, the Department of Health has allocated one-third of all Covid-19 vaccine doses procured to private healthcare workers. As a result, a third of the first 80,000 vaccine doses has been allocated to them. South Africa expects to receive another three batches of 80,000 doses spaced two weeks apart, and thereafter one batch of 60,000.

Some of the second consignment would be distributed to private healthcare sector sites and will be in addition to the 17 vaccination sites. 

“All healthcare workers, irrespective of where they work, need to be vaccinated. This is critical and is aligned with the national prioritisation framework for Phase 1 of the national vaccine rollout programme,” said the Department of Health in announcing the allocation.

This is now included in the Sisonke Early Access Programme – the protocol which governs the rollout of the vaccine – which was launched on Wednesday, 17 February. 

The demand for the vaccine has been higher than expected, therefore resulting in longer wait times. “There are a number of process-related issues the departments of health, private sector partners and the Sisonke Programme team are working towards resolving in real-time to alleviate the wait times. 

“We are confident that our partnership across public and private sectors will help to overcome these short-term process challenges and result in us being able to protect many healthcare workers in a shorter period of time,” it said.

Vax the beloved country: How mountains were moved to get J&J vaccines to South Africa

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine shows 57% efficacy against moderate to severe disease and 85% efficacy against severe disease, hospitalisation and death, according to data from a South African clinical trial. MC/DM

Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]

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"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

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