Feb, 12th 2021 – South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa, in a state of the nation address yesterday, spoke of his determination to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and to tackle the country’s economic challenges.
He Lamented that more than 47,000 people had died from the virus and that nearly two million jobs lost in less than a year. He added that the first priority is defeating coronavirus, through a nationwide vaccination campaign expected to start in the next few weeks.
Earlier this week, South Africa halted the use of Oxford- Astrazeneca vaccine after it was found to be less effective in preventing mild to moderate cases of the disease caused by the new variant.
Thee country instead will give healthcare workers one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine marking the launch of the Country’s vaccine drive to vaccinate 67 percent of the population this year.
The country is waiting for approval from the country’s South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, before the roll out begins next week. Delivering his State of Nation Address, Ramaphosa said, “We have secured 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The first batch of 80,000 doses will arrive in the country next week.”
He added that further deliveries would be made over the next four weeks to reach a total of 500,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The pandemic in South Africa has taken a toll with a new variant in the country as more than 2 million people lost their jobs since the virus broke out.
However, Ramaphosa did not disclose what will be done to the already secured 1 million Astrazeneca vaccines.