Gauteng Premier David Makhura said they are ready to roll out the Johnson & Johnson vaccine throughout the province.

The plan is to vaccinate around 10.3 million people, among them 215 000 healthcare workers in Gauteng this year, dependent on the doses received.

Makhura said the province is ready to roll out the vaccine, with the virus set to be around for a while and the need to manage it.

“Vaccines are game-changing ways. Our plan will be adapted and have health workers who are trained, and our facilities are ready. Depending on how many doses we will get of [the] Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we are ready to vaccinate 215 000 healthcare workers.

“We need to bring Covid-19 under control,” said Makhura.

Makhura said they were disappointed following the announcement that the vaccination programme would not be launched as expected.

“I was disappointed by the news that AstraZeneca is not (as) effective as expected. I feel huge disappointment [for] health workers who were ready and anxious for the vaccine including religious leaders who went out and convinced people about the vaccine.

“We understand that because we are driven by science. We are not disrupting our plans. I once (again) say to people of Gauteng that we must all vaccinate”

Warning

Makhura warned residents from perpetuating messages that vaccines don’t work. He urged the public to have patience. 

“We are more than ready and healthcare workers are looking forward to it, although they are disappointed. Defeating coronavirus is important to open other sectors.

“The second wave didn’t exceed in [sic] infections. It didn’t exceed much of the first wave. We still have over 4 200 people admitted in our hospitals. The number was at some point 5 500 and it has come down.

“This has a bearing on the mortality rate. Last night, we lost 82 people. We are still facing the pandemic even if the numbers are becoming less. We still have many people in hospitals. We are losing people daily and we must be vigilant,” said Makhura.

Makhura warned that wild parties have a huge impact on the infection rate.

“[The] vaccination programme will start with health workers and it will take time to reach everybody. We need cooperation and collaboration of communities. We will provide necessary support to all those affected by Covid-19, including victims of GBV and those who require relief support.

“People think Covod-19 is gone and return to parties that cost us greatly. We are ready for the vaccinations and will roll-out [the] vaccine,” Makhura said.

News24