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Over 80 000 healthcare workers vaccinated

South Africa has exhausted its first batch of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in two weeks, with 83 570 healthcare workers vaccinated as of Wednesday.

“We are very encouraged that our first target of exhausting the first batch of 80 000 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson in two weeks has been achieved and exceeded.

“We have taken every opportunity to learn from this process and continue to refine the programme in preparation for the rollout to the larger community in the subsequent phases,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The first consignment of the single-dose vaccine arrived in South Africa in February, while the second batch arrived this past weekend.

The Minister announced that 95 more people succumbed to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

Of these, 30 were reported in Gauteng, 25 in the Western Cape, 19 in the Free State, eight in KwaZulu-Natal, seven in Mpumalanga and five in the Eastern Cape, which pushes the death toll to 50 366.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased patients,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, South Africa has recorded 1 516 262 cases after 1 447 new infections were identified since the last report.

According to the Minister, there are 1 434 772 people who beat COVID-19, while 33 498 patients are currently infected.

The information is based on the 9 147 524 tests performed, 33 498 of which were done in the last reporting cycle.

The World Health Organisation has reported 114 428 211 confirmed global cases of COVID-19, including 2 543 755 deaths to date. –

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