Your Covid-19 questions answered

Can I choose which vaccine I would like to get?

19 August 2021 - 07:00 By kyle zeeman
If you live in Joburg, Cape Town, Durban or other urban areas you are more likely to get the Pfizer vaccine.
If you live in Joburg, Cape Town, Durban or other urban areas you are more likely to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Image: Gallo Images/Papi Morake

You have registered to get the Covid-19 vaccine and are standing in line, can you now choose which vaccine you would like to get?

As the national vaccine rollout continues, the health department has clarified how vaccines are distributed.

There are two vaccines in circulation at the moment. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose, while the Pfizer vaccine is a double dose, meaning those who get it will need to make a follow-up appointment after being given their first jab.

A third vaccine, CoronaVac, has been approved with conditions, but is not currently in circulation.

Health department spokesperson Popo Maja told TimesLIVE that each vaccination site is given one vaccine type, which will be given to all those go to that site for the jab.

He said the decision on which vaccines are distributed where is made at a national level, and depends on where you live.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is used in rural and peri-urban areas. Pfizer is used in metropolitan areas because it requires ultracold fridges and it will be easy for people to come back for the second jab.”

Special groups, such as healthcare and front-line workers, police, teachers and correctional services inmates, are given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, because it is a single dose.

A total of 9.7-million vaccines have been administered in the country over the past six months.

More than 2.17-million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses have been given since the vaccine rollout started with healthcare workers in February. Nearly 500,000 of these were administered as part of the Sisonke programme for front-line workers.

More than 7.57-million Pfizer vaccine doses have been administered, with about 5.4-million first doses and 2.1-million second doses given.

The health department has set a target to vaccinate 40-million people in SA, or 67% of the population, to reach herd immunity.


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