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The wait is over, at least for Some South African’s as The Department of health rolls out the more effective Johnson &Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

As planned, willing healthcare workers have been the first to receive the vaccine with hopes that the public will soon be able to use the Department of Health online platform to register to receive the vaccine too.

Although we are all excited about the arrival and rollout of an effective vaccine in the hopes that this pandemic will soon be under control, many people are still unsure and sceptical about getting the vaccine themselves. South Africa was the first country to roll out the J&J vaccine, which must still be approved in the US, EU and countries.

Here’s what we know about the J&J vaccine.

Effective against new COVID-19 variant 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is effective against the 501Y.V2 COVID-19 variant unlike the AstraZeneca vaccines which arrived in South Africa at the beginning of February, just months before the vaccines were due to expire. 

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According to Johnson & Johnson, the vaccine is 85% effective against severe infection, hospitalisation due to COVID-19 and 100% effective against COVID-19 death for both the first and latest variants of COVID-19 prevalent in South Africa.

Can you get the vaccine if you are pregnant? 

Although The World Health Organisation (WHO) had first suggested pregnant women delay getting vaccinated until after the end of their pregnancies, this has changed. 

The latest advice from WHO is that the benefits of being vaccinated out weight the marginal risks to pregnant women and their unborn children. 

There is no evidence that getting vaccinated during pregnancy could be harmful or put your unborn child at any risk. This doesn’t apply to a specific vaccine but all the vaccines that have the relevant and required approval.

How to register for the COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa

A one-shot vaccine 

Some vaccines require two doses to be optimally effective howe er the J&J vaccine is effective as a single dose vaccine. 

This means you only need to register once, be vaccinated once and receive all the benefits of the vaccine. 

No Deep freezing necessary

While many South African’s have raised the issue of OSuth Africa’s inconsistent power supply and how that could affect the efficiency of the very expensive vaccines that require dee freezing, the J&J vaccine only requires regular refrigeration. 

This means that it can be stored safely in existing refrigerating facilities with a supplementary power supply.

When can I get the vaccine?

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases 9 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson, commencing with delivery in the second quarter of 2021. Johnson & Johnson has contracted Aspen to manufacture these vaccines in South Africa.

Phase 1 of the vaccine rollout will see to the vaccination of willing health care workers and those on the frontlines. 

Phase 2 will be focused on vaccinating those who vulnerable to severe infection and living under circumstances where social distancing is not possible. 

South Africans over the age of 18 are scheduled to receive vaccines in phase 3 of the Vaccine roll out which will see 67% of South Africans vaccinated by the end of 2021.

In all phases, only 18year people who are willing and apply to receive the vaccine will be vaccinated. 


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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.