The South African Medical Association (SAMA) says it is optimistic about phase one of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as it focuses only on frontline healthcare workers.
SAMA adds that this will make it easier to monitor the vaccine and its effects, because it is being administered to a smaller group of people – rather than the general public.
The remarks come hot on the heels of the news that 80 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived in the country from Belgium on Tuesday night.
The first inoculations are scheduled to begin this afternoon, with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, joining healthcare workers in Khayelitsha as they take the injections.
Dr. Aslam Dasoo on government’s plan to vaccinate 80 000 healthcare workers:
SAMA chairperson, Dr Angelique Coetzee, says the association hopes that the experience from the first phase will contribute to subsequent phases to be more effective.
“We will see what happens. Luckily this first roll out will be with health-care workers. It’s an easy group to monitor. They are at work, they have personnel numbers or in the private sector. It is a confined group of people that make it easier to control than when we start with phase 2. So hopefully we will sort out a lot of problems encountered in phase one,” explains Coetzee.