The vaccination of healthcare workers in South Africa against coronavirus kicked off on 17 February at Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town where professional nurse at facility’s labour ward, Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi, became the very first healthcare in the country to get the jab.
The first batch of 80 000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrived at midnight on 16 February and were then distributed to the country’s 17 vaccination sites in the nine provinces.
DENOSA views sister Zoliswa’s bravery as quite symbolic of the nursing profession itself and her being the first healthcare on the line to be vaccinated as nothing new for nurses and nursing: the profession and professionals are always on the frontline even in the most difficult times. It is only when it comes to remuneration that they, oddly, are placed last on the line.
During his state of the nation address on 11 February, State President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that the Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been secured for the first phase of the country’s vaccination rollout programme which targets the country’s 1,25 million healthcare workers, with 80 000 expected in the week of 15 February, and that the further 500 000 was expected to be delivered in the following four weeks period in different batches of 80 000 and 60 000 respectively.
Various provinces are kicking off their vaccination programmes.