First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Day 10: Athletes get Covid jabs as Ramaphosa and Macron...

Maverick Citizen


Day 10: Athletes get Covid jabs as Ramaphosa and Macron discuss vaccines

A nurse readies a Covid-19 vaccine dose during the launch of the Phase 2 vaccination programme in Munsieville, Krugersdorp. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Daily Maverick)

On Day 10 of Phase 2 of the roll-out, some of the country’s top athletes received their shots ahead of major competitions. Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa and French President Emmanuel Macron are due to discuss vaccines, as the second week of vaccinations ended with more than 181,000 doses given.

This week, South Africa administered 181,118 doses of the double-shot Pfizer vaccine, bringing the total to 348,204 by the morning of 28 May. 

Only about 1.6 million people are currently registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System, out of about 4.6 million over 60 years old.

Gauteng administered 192,454 of these doses by 27 May, byt which day 429,216 of its residents had registered to receive the vaccine.

KwaZulu-Natal vaccinated 84,077 people between 24 and 27 May.

By 27 May, the Northern Cape had vaccinated 4,048 people since 17 May.

In the Free State, 40,300 had received their first Pfizer dose by 28 May. More than 18,000 of these are in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality alone.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron on his first state visit to South Africa. They were scheduled to visit the Vaccine Production Support Initiative for Africa at the University of Pretoria on 28 May. 

The heads of state are expected to discuss the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, the Covid-19 TRIPS waiver and vaccine manufacturing in Africa, according to the Presidency

The Western Cape has officially launched a vaccine dashboard showing where people have registered and how many doses have been administered in each area. It also shows where vaccination sites are. Find it here.

In the past week several private vaccination sites have become active. There are currently 23 active private vaccination sites, according to the Health Department. However, the private sector plans to ramp up its contribution quickly and on a grand scale. Read the report by Ufrieda Ho here.

Meanwhile, vaccinations have started for the Springbok squad and its management team. The 45 players and their managers have received doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine left over from the Sisonke study. Head of the South African Medical Research Council, Professor Glenda Gray, said athletes were originally supposed to receive the Pfizer vaccine, but this was not practical because the two doses must be given weeks apart. 

Craig Ray reports: “By receiving the Sisonke vaccine, the Pfizer doses allocated to them will go to ordinary citizens of our country and thus will free up additional doses for our country,” Gray said, adding that all conditions for registration of the J&J vaccine will be observed for the vaccinated athletes.

Professor Linda Gail Bekker, co-national principal investigator, added: “At the end of the day these individuals are ambassadors for our country; they have to travel to do their jobs and they need to be vaccinated. We are glad we could assist.”

Read the full report here.

This comes just a day after confirmation that South Africa’s Olympians will receive J&J doses donated by the International Olympic Committee. Read the report by Yanga Sibembe here.

How to register

Register here to be vaccinated during Phase 2. Alternatively, register on WhatsApp by sending “REGISTER” to 0600 123456.

Or register by SMS by dialling *134*832*your ID number#. If you don’t have an ID number, just dial *134*832#. You do not need a smartphone, airtime or data to register by SMS.

If you encounter any difficulties, call the Covid-19 hotline on 0800 029 999. DM/MC


"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]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted