Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni has announced that the cabinet has agreed to lift the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine programme.

She says Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize will announce the recommencement of the programme, through a media briefing, soon.  

Ntshavheni briefed the media in Pretoria this morning, following yesterday’s cabinet meeting. It was a first physical meeting for the cabinet since the outbreak of the coronavirus last year.  

The meeting discussed a number of issues that are penning out across the country and has made some decisions, for the betterment of the lives of South Africans, according to Ntshavheni 

Ntshaveni says the country is expecting about one million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine by Monday next week.

Last week, Mkhize announced that South Africa would suspend the Johnson and Johnson vaccine rollout due to the discovery of rare blood clots in six women who had taken the vaccine in the United States.

On Monday, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) called for the lifting of the suspension, saying there was no need for the J7J vaccine programme’s suspension in South Africa.

SAMA was responding to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority’s (SAHPRA) recommendation, that government lifts this suspension.

“We think it was not necessary for us to stop vaccinating especially because we had no cases reported in SA. Even those who had vaccinated reported minor ailments but not to an extent that is reported in the US,” said SAMA Vice Chairperson, Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa.

“We really should continue because we want to avoid people getting sick and hospitalised,” adds Mzukwa.

J&J vaccine rollout expected to resume soon: