Watch: The first SA healthcare worker receives the COVID-19 vaccine

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What a time to be alive! The COVID-19 vaccines have touched down on South African soil and one of our own — a healthcare worker — was given the first jab on Wednesday 17 February 2021 at the Khayelitsha District Hospital in the Western Cape. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and Deputy Minister Dr Joe Phaahla also followed suit and received the jab on Wednesday. 

WATCH: FIRST FOUR HEALTHCARE WORKERS GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE 

The first healthcare worker to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday has been named as Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi – she is a sister in the Labour Ward according to the National Health Department. 

The second healthcare worker to receive the jab was Dr Sa’ad Lahri, an EM Physician. The third was Mavuyo Mpambani from housekeeping and the fourth was Cwengisa Dadirai, an admin clerk. A total of 16 people will be vaccinated at the Khayelitsha Hospital on Wednesday. 

They will now undergo a mandatory observation period. Later in the video, one can see Mkhize and Ramaphosa being vaccinated. 

FIRST BATCH OF 80 000 DOSES OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINES ARRIVES

The first batch of 80 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrived in SA quite late on Tuesday night at the OR Tambo Airport. It is now being distributed across South Africa with immediate effect following approval by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). 

“We are pleased that we are able to begin vaccination by mid-February, as we had announced. This is despite the fact that the AstraZeneca vaccine that we had procured for this purpose showed little efficacy against the 501Y.V2 variant that is currently dominant in South Africa. I would like to congratulate the Vaccine Inter-Ministerial Committee, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize and his team, and the Medical Research Council for responding so rapidly and effectively to this challenge,” Ramaphosa said via the presidency on Wednesday.  

Ramaphosa said government has called on leaders in various sectors and parts of the country to lead by example and take the COVID-19 vaccine publicly. 

“We will therefore witness some Premiers, MECs and leaders from civil society, religious formations and traditional leadership being vaccinated in all provinces. Through this vaccination programme, government aims to achieve population immunity to save lives and protect livelihoods. We have chosen vaccination and we call on all South Africans to choose vaccination and protect one another,” he added. 

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