Nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi was the first to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town.
- Over 67 000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated so far.
- On Saturday, SA recorded 1 447 new infections as the total cases climbed to 1 512 225.
- In addition, another 157 people died of Covid-19, bringing the death toll to 49 941.
The Department of Health said that, by 18:30 on Saturday, a total of 67 303 healthcare workers had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The department hopes to escalate vaccinations in the following days at even more sites.
“The Sisonke Programme is outperforming original targets for the number of vaccines delivered in its first week and is set to continue this momentum in its second week as more sites come online,” the department said.
On Tuesday, J&J filed an updated set of trial results with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review, taking into account additional follow-up time for people enrolled in the trials.
“South Africa welcomes the news that the single dose J&J vaccine is even more efficacious than previously expected, with a 64% efficacy rate at preventing the more contagious 501Y.V2 variant.
“We further welcome the news that the expert panel at the FDA unanimously recommended the vaccine for approval. FDA approval of the single dose J&J vaccine for general use is expected this weekend, paving the wave for similar approval by [the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority] in a few weeks.
Until then, early access to the vaccine will continue to be provided through a partnership, known as Sisonke, between the government and the Medical Research Council.
In Saturday’s daily Covid-19 update, the health department said there had been 1 447 new infections, with South Africa’s total cases now standing on 1 512 225.
There had been another 157 fatalities, with the death toll on 49 941.
The breakdown of the 157 deaths is as follows: Eastern Cape (6), Free State (26), Gauteng (33), KwaZulu-Natal (46), Limpopo (23), Mpumalanga (3), Northern Cape (2) and Western Cape (18).
The recovery rate is at 94%.