President Cyril Ramaphosa was among the first to be inoculated on Wednesday as South Africa launched its coronavirus vaccine campaign using Johnson & Johnson jabs after the rollout was delayed. A nurse who works in a maternity ward at a hospital in Khayelitsha township in Cape Town was the first to be immunised, hours after the first batch of 80,000 doses landed in the country on Tuesday.
Nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi looked relaxed as she received the jab, which was broadcast on live television. After five healthcare workers got their jabs, it was Ramaphosa’s turn. Before taking off his jacket and rolling up his white shirt’s long sleeves for the injection, he asked the nurse who was administering the jab if there would be any side effects.
“This day represents a real milestone for us as South Africans that finally the vaccines are here and they are being administered,” he said as he left the hospital to go to Parliament.
The new vaccines, only recently approved by the national health authorities, were distributed to vaccination centres overnight.
[Photos] President @CyrilRamaphosa receives the coronavirus #COVID19SA vaccine at the Khayelitsha District Hospital, Western Cape #VaccineNation💉#VaccinesForSouthAfrica #VaccineRolloutSA🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/3r4kulOrrd
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 17, 2021
The stock is part of a consignment of nine million doses that South Africa secured from the American pharmaceutical giant. The first doses will target healthcare workers as part of a study by the country’s medical research authority. Another 420,000 doses will be delivered over the next four weeks.
In other news – President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mkhize to be vaccinated with healthcare workers in Khayelitsha today
President Cyril Rampahosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, today with the first healthcare workers to receive the vaccine.
Commenting after a batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrived in the country overnight, Ramaphosa said in a statement this morning: ’’To demonstrate our confidence in this vaccine and help allay any fears that people may have, the Minister of Health and I will join the first healthcare workers to receive the vaccine in Khayelitsha. Learn more