NATIONAL NEWS - The Health Department has given an update on the first vaccinations of healthcare workers the past four days.
Over 10,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated since 17 February after the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines last week.
“Following productive discussions with stakeholders from the private sector, the National Department of Health and the Sisonke Programme have allocated one-third of all vaccine doses available for private healthcare workers. This means that one-third of the first 80 000 vaccines will be allocated to the private sector over the next 14 days.
“All health care workers irrespective of where they work need to be vaccinated. This is critical and is aligned with the national prioritization framework for phase 1 of the national vaccine roll-out programme.”
The rollout in the private sector has already commenced on 20 February and has vaccinated 3,000 healthcare workers.
The health department has commended the collaboration between all parties and the patience from healthcare workers as they roll out the large scale programme.
“The confidence by healthcare workers in the vaccine and the protection it offers is evident in the queues and higher than planned demand from doctors and nurses across the country.”
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine provides 57% protection against moderate-severe disease of Covid-19 and 85% protection against severe disease and 100% protection against death, based on evidence from the clinical trials that included South African participants, the health department said.
“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.”
Healthcare workers can register to get vaccinated on the health department website.