SOUTH AFRICA. Western Cape: South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa on February 17 led his citizens in receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
This move show sends a strong message of intent to the people.
Ramaphosa took the vaccines alongside health workers at the Khaliyetsha district hospital in Western hotline.
In a statement earlier before being inoculated with the vaccine, Ramaphosa insisted that vaccination was the only way out to protect the southern African nation ravaged by the second wave of the pandemic.
“I have done this to demonstrate confidence and remove any fears about the vaccine”, he said.
80,000 doses of the vaccine had arrived in South Africa on the same day.
The President further assured the citizens that the South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority ( SAHPRA) had approved the vaccine is suitable for use.
After Ramaphosa, it is expected that religious and local leaders in the country’s provinces will follow take the vaccine to set an example for their subjects.
In a bid to eliminate misconceptions and misinformation about vaccination, the country’s National Department of Health has established a WhatsApp hotline to curb the vices.
Nine million doses of the vaccine will be administered in the country.
What about AstraZeneca?
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told Parliament earlier that, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered to the African Union.
“The AU will distribute to countries which had shown interest and not face the challenge caused by this variant,” he said.
By February 18, South Africa had recorded 48,478 COVID-19 deaths.