South Africa News

COVID-19: Government reserves single dose J&J jab for rural areas & elderly at Sassa pay points

The health department has said they were now saving the Johnson & Johnson vaccines for the rural areas and the elderly who visit social grant pay points.

Government said it had “relatively few” doses of the J&J vaccine available at this point, with the delivery of new stock only happening from next month and October.

The health department said it wants to use the single-shot vaccine on those who they can’t reach again for a second dose – like it is required with the Pfizer double dose vaccine.

The department’s Nicholas Crisp said: “What that basically means is that we are using Johnson & Johnson vaccine primarily in deep rural communities, large parts of the Northern Cape where the distance is very far to get to, and pensioners in the programmes that we are running in the Sassa [South African Social Security Agency] pay queues.”

At the same time, on Friday Health Minister Joe Phaahla said it was possible to have a better December and Christmas holiday period if as many people as possible got fully vaccinated by that time now that all adults were eligible for a COVID-19 jab.

The department said young people were also allowed to go through to the vaccine sites already to go get their jab after registering either at home or on the site.

The entire adult population is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday and Phaahla hopes to get as many young people as possible to go to vaccine sites, register, and get a jab.


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