National COVID Vaccination Programme Status
Paused Sunday 6 February
- Following concerns regarding efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (CoviShield) vaccine against mild-moderate COVID caused by the 501.V2 variant.
- CoviShield may still play a role in the National Programme but more local research is needed.
- There is likely to be significant lag period (approx. 3 months) before another vaccine is registered in South Africa.
Vaccination using a safe and efficacious vaccine must start without delay to protect health workers during a likely 3rd wave this winter
- Health workers are 3-4 times more likely than the general population to develop COVID-19
- 1 in 7 cases of COVID-19 are in health workers globally
- To date 40 000 South African health workers have developed COVID-19, 6 473 have been hospitalised and 663 of our colleagues have passed on.
- The ENSEMBLE trial showed excellent protection of a single-dose vaccine from JnJ against severe COVID-19 including in South Africa so to delay would be unethical.