Covid-19 vaccine rollout: SA's long wait for the jab

Most South Africans still have no protection against Covid except their own behaviour. But, writes Claire Keeton, it is possible that tomorrow will mark a turning point for the government’s vaccination rollout. The nation holds its breath

16 May 2021 - 00:00

DAY 1: February 17, 350 days after SA’s first confirmed case of the “novel coronavirus”, professors Glenda Gray and Linda-Gail Bekker swooped in like Superwomen to power up its stalled Covid vaccination programme.

That Wednesday, the two scientists at the helm of the Sisonke implementation study strode through Khayelitsha Hospital with the first vials of vaccine in hand. Sisonke has provided Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid vaccinations to more than 400,000 health-care workers in SA. Meanwhile, masked doctors, nurses, and other health staff on the frontline queued in the sun at hospitals swapping Covid war stories, waiting for a jab in the arm to protect them from a fate which could end in death...

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