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Johannesburg – Cape Town nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi was the first South African to receive the Khayelitsha Hospital Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday. After a consignment of 80,000 doses arrived from the US on Tuesday night, Gidi-Dyosi got her jab. Gidi-Dyosi was part of a contingent of healthcare staff who on Wednesday administered the first doses of the Johnson & Johnson jabs at Cape Town’s Khayelitsha district hospital.

 

Gidi-Dyosi is a licensed midwife and nurse. “I don’t feel anything at the moment, I’m still all right,” she said. Gidi-Dyosi said that her family was delighted that she had received the vaccine, and she spoke to her husband. She said the jab from the vaccine hurt a bit. She was joined by Dr. Sa’ad Lahri, an emergency physician, Mavuyo Mpambani, a household health worker, and Cwengisa Dadirai, an administrator. In total, 16 healthcare employees will be vaccinated today. The healthcare workers who are vaccinated will now undergo a medical monitoring time.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize both had their vaccine jabs at the same hospital. Ramaphosa, wearing a suit, rolled up his sleeves and caught his left arm with a jab. He was in good humor after getting his jab, laughing with the nurse, and he signalled with a thumbs up. After a decision to place AstraZeneca vaccines on hold last week, South Africa is launching its vaccination program with Johnson & Johnson vaccines. South Africa had procured one million doses, but a study raised questions about the effectiveness of the 501Y.V2 version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has since December been the dominant Covid-19 variant in South Africa.

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South Africa is predicted to receive 500,000 additional Johnson & Johnson doses in the next four weeks. Via the AU African Vaccine Procurement Task Force facility, South Africa has secured nine million Johnson & Johnson doses, 12 million vaccine doses from the Covax facility, 20 million doses from Pfizer and an unspecified number of doses.

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