Phase two of South Africa’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine rollout could begin at the end of April. To date, over a hundred thousand healthcare workers have been vaccinated in phase one of the Johnson& Johnson vaccine drive.

Deputy Director General at the Department of Health Doctor Anban Pillay explains that the elderly will be given first priority when the second phase is rolled out.

“Our target is that we would have completed healthcare workers in April.  By late April, early May, we would then start with Phase 2 which is the elderly – those with co-morbidities, for those who are essential workers and those living in what we call congregate settings or working congregate settings. Within Phase 2, we’ll have sub-groups, so certainly for example in the elderly we’d start with those that are at the higher age group first, setting a target for example everybody that is over the age 75 will be vaccinated first.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Health says it is pleased that more than 100 000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated in just over two weeks with the early access Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Officials say as demand for the vaccine continues to increase, government is rapidly and successfully rolling out the delivery of the vaccine to healthcare workers through a partnership with the Sisonke Study.

The department says the government is working on ensuring that all healthcare workers are vaccinated in a timeous and fair way.

Department of Health officials presents the vaccination roll-out plan to Members of Parliament: