Department of Health says 10 000 healthcare workers have already been vaccinated

February 22, 2021

The vaccination drive started on 17 February.

According to the Department of Health, more than 10 000 healthcare workers have already been vaccinated. The Sisonke Early Access Programme is the initiative responsible for rolling out the jabs at selected hospitals around the country. 

The programme kicked off on 17 February and thousands of nurses, doctors and other hospital staff have been vaccinated in just four days already. 

In the Western Cape alone, three hospitals, including Tygerberg and Groot Schuur, have been identified as vaccination centres. In this province, there is a vaccination capacity of about 1 100 people per day. Vaccinations take place 10 hours a day, 7 days a week to speed up the process in the most efficient way possible.

In terms of the whole of the country, there are currently 18 vaccination sites in operation.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, used in the Sisonke programme, provides 57% protection against moderate-severe disease, 85% protection against severe disease and 100% protection against death. 

About 80 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines were received by the government last week. One-third of these were given to the private sector to vaccinate doctors and staff in private hospitals. Delivery took place on 20 February and more than 3 000 private sector medical staff have been jabbed by the end of Sunday, 21 February. 

Last week, the Minister of Health announced that South Africa will be getting 7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to strengthen the vaccine drive.