BY: Poelano Malema
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Phase 1 of the vaccination programme will be completed soon.
“In the middle of February, we began Phase 1 of our vaccination programme, which involves the vaccination of health workers. This phase is on track to be completed within three months,” said Ramaphosa in his address on Tuesday.
He said over 250,000 health workers have to date received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as part of the Sisonke trial.
Registration for the second phase
The registration process for the second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations is scheduled to start in April. Those who qualify will be encouraged to register online.
“An Electronic Vaccination Data System has been established to manage the vaccine rollout and direct people towards vaccination sites closest to where they live. This system will allow you to register, receive an appointment date and site, and receive a digital certificate or a hard copy confirming your vaccination status once vaccinated. Everyone that will be vaccinated will have to be registered on the system first, and you will be invited to register once you become eligible.
“In line with international best practice, we will be prioritising those at the highest risk of hospitalisation and death, such as people over 60 and people living with co-morbidities.”
Phase two of vaccination roll-out
The president announced that phase two of the vaccination process will start in May.
“Phase 2 is scheduled to start in mid-May. We believe that sufficient volumes from manufacturers will be arriving in the quantities as agreed in terms of our agreements with them,” said the president.
“Under Phase 2 we hope to vaccinate more of our people over six months,” he added.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine
President Ramaphosa announced that the government has secured 11 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“We have secured 11 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which we know to be effective against the dominant variants in our country. We have secured a further 20 million doses and are finalising the agreement with Johnson & Johnson,” he said.
“We are also finalising an agreement for 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses. Together, this supply of vaccines will provide us with enough doses to vaccinate 41 million people,” he concluded.