LAGOS NIGERIA WEATHER | LIVE | Covid-19 in SA: 792 new cases, 97 new deaths, with 15 388 vaccines administered to date

SA’s latest Covid-19 numbersThe death toll has hit 48 478 after 165 more deaths.

The number of cases has risen by 2 320, taking the total to 1 496 439.

Today’s top Covid-19 story:

FULL COVERAGE | Finally! SA sees historic day as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out

It was a historic day in South Africa as the first round of vaccine shots got underway. A large consignment of vaccines from pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson arrived at OR Tambo Airport late on Tuesday night.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize became the first high-profile citizens to take the jab during a visit to the Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town. Ramaphosa labelled the beginning of the vaccine rollout as a “milestone” in the country’s Covid-19 fight.

A total of 80 000 doses of the J&J vaccine has arrived. A further 500 000 doses is expected in a few weeks, while 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine is expected at the end of March.

Here’s a recap of how it went down:

A plane carrying J&J vaccines arrived at OR Tambo International Airport late on Tuesday night. The consignment was then moved to a facility in Gauteng and was distributed to provinces overnight.

Ramaphosa and Mkhize took the jab at a Cape Town hospital. The president encouraged the public to be open to the vaccine. The vaccine will be dispatched to 17 sites across the country.

The Eastern Cape also welcomed its first batch of vaccines at sites in Mthatha and Port Elizabeth. The vaccine was administered to 40 healthcare workers at Bara hospital in Johannesburg. Healthcare workers said they were relieved that the day finally arrived. The vaccine has also been delivered to a site in Pretoria.

Amid the rollout of the J&J vaccine, experts told us that the government should consider distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine which the country originally procured but decided not to use. Those vaccines will be shared with other African countries.

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Pictured: Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi, a nurse, was the first person to receive a vaccine shot, at Khayelitsha District Hospital, Cape Town. (GCIS)

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