South Africa to resume Johnson and Johnson's vaccine rollout on Wednesday

About two weeks after a hold was imposed due to blood clot concerns, SA to continue rollout from 28 April.

According to the Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Sisonke programme is expected to resume this Wednesday. This follows a hold put in place after cases of rare blood clots were reported in the US. “Today we are pleased to announce that, following SAHPRA’s recommendation on 17 April 2021 and Cabinet’s concurrence on 21 April 2021, the vaccine rollout will resume through the Sisonke Programme on Wednesday, 28 April 2021,” Mkhize said. “Let us remember that Johnson & Johnson is currently the best vaccine against the 501Y.V2 variant, which is dominant in this country. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is effective, easy to use and it is still considered safer to get vaccinated with it than not to,” added Mkhize.

The local regulator, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority found no evidence of blood clots among the nearly 300,000 South Africans who had been vaccinated since the programme started. However, it imposed more stringent pre-vaccination assessments and post vaccination monitoring henceforth. In addition, SAHPRA also required that all participants be informed about the risk of developing the rare clot. The first phase of the vaccination programme which is targeting most of the country’s 1.2 million healthcare workers is expected to end on 16 May and will be carried out across nearly a hundred sites countrywide. Mkhize urged all healthcare workers, including traditional healers, who have not registered for vaccination to do so via the website.