Vaccination will reach ordinary South Africans within 12 weeks – Professor Glenda Gray
London, Feb. 18, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Vaccination for ordinary South Africans will commence within the next 12 weeks, after the priority groups this is according to Professor Glenda Gray who is heading the Johnson & Johnson implementation study in the country.
Earlier on Wednesday, the first shots of the vaccine were administered to South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, as well as the healthcare workers at Khayelitsha District Hospital in the Western Cape province.
Taking the vaccine was quick, easy and not so painful. I urge all our healthcare workers to register to receive their vaccinations as they are our first line of defence against the coronavirus pandemic. #WeChooseVacciNation #VaccineforSouthAfrica 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/11tyl1f9Xs— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 17, 2021
Gray, who is also the CEO of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), spoke during a media briefing where she said they hope to enrol half a million healthcare workers for the vaccine.
Over 400 000 healthcare workers have already registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) to receive the vaccine.
“We will continue to enrol the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until it is registered in South Africa. We hope it will take 12 weeks to vaccinate the healthcare workers, and vaccination for ordinary South Africans can then commence“ she said.
“We expect approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) any day now, it is already at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and we will go to the World Health Organization (WHO) afterwards. It is already a rolling submission at South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). The idea is to get the product licensed in South Africa.”
The first 80 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out across the country as part of an implementation study.
The implementation study, similar to the final phase of a vaccine trial, will test the effects of the vaccine in the field after it is administered to around 350 000 to 500 000 healthcare workers.
This type of study focuses on the application of the research findings among those who most need it.
Mkhize said: “The immediate roll-out of phase one vaccination with J&J through the Sisonke protocol has been made possible by the fact that the 300 000 doses of the now proven and efficacious J&J vaccine were already tested and approved by SAHPRA for use under study conditions.”