Nursing union, Denosa, in the Eastern Cape says its members are happy with the way the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being administered.

Denosa provincial chairperson Sivuyile Mange has, however, expressed concern about healthcare workers who might be unemployed in a few months’ time.

“They must expedite this rollout because we believe it is going to reinforce the issue where there is lack of PPE. But we are not saying the department should let their guard down in terms of ensuring that there is adequate supply where they are needed. We are appealing to the government, especially Treasury, because it is a budgetary issue, the reason why these contract workers are going to be terminated. We can’t use such a workforce at the time of need,” says Mange.

First day of vaccine rollout a success in the Eastern Cape:

South Africa’s vaccination programme began on Wednesday after 80 000 doses of the vaccine arrived from Brussels late on Tuesday.

Frontline healthcare workers are being prioritised in the first phase of the rollout.

The Health Department says since 6pm on Thursday 2 260 healthcare workers have been vaccinated across the country with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Two-thousand-327 new coronavirus cases have been recorded in South Africa in the past 24 hours with 230 more people succumbing to COVID-19 related complications. The recovery rate is 93.6%.

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Meanwhile, scientists from US pharmaceutical company Pfizer say they are in discussions with regulators to test a booster shot version of the company’s coronavirus vaccine specifically targeted for the highly contagious variant detected in South Africa and elsewhere. – Additional reporting by Reuters