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DURBAN: By the weekend, the Department of Health is due to receive its second batch of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, speaking during a debate on the government’s roll-out programme, said the batch – consisting of 80,000 doses – would arrive on Saturday.

He said that in the battle against Covid-19, SA had entered more than 87 nations. “Our programme is rapidly gaining momentum. We have now vaccinated 23 059 people as of yesterday. We are on course to reach 40 000 by this Wednesday,” Mkhize said.

Mkhize said in his address that 54,685 health-care staff in the public sector have contracted Covid-19 and 779 have since passed on. In addition, Mkhize announced that SA is selling its AstraZeneca stock doses to the African Union to curb wasteful spending.

 “We have heard from the AU that these will be distributed to around 20 countries on the continent, which will be able to start protecting their front-line health care staff. This is a win-win situation. We have also suggested that J&J be deployed preferentially to the southern regions of Africa, so that we can deal quickly with the prevalent variant in South Africa and some pa pa

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