- Cabinet has agreed to lift the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine programme.
- No vaccinated South African healthcare workers had rare blood clots.
- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will announce when the rollout will continue.
Cabinet agreed to lift the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine programme, acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni announced on Thursday.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will announce the recommencement of the programme, Ntshavheni added.
She said the programme would continue as soon as the department was ready. This was decided on Wednesday at Cabinet's first physical meeting since the outbreak of Covid-19.
"Cabinet was briefed on the temporary suspension of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Sisonke Vaccination Programme, which was a precautionary measure which allowed South Africa's scientists to review the South African data on the J&J vaccine," Ntshavheni said.
She said the temporary suspension in South Africa was in line with government's commitment to ensure that comprehensive safety measures are undertaken during the vaccine rollout.
"The reviewed data had confirmed that South Africa had not experienced any rare blood clots with the already vaccinated healthcare workers.
"Cabinet welcomed the recommendation by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to lift the suspension of the J&J Sisonke Vaccination Programme."
She said scientists would continue to monitor all vaccinated South Africans.
By mid-April, more than 292 623 healthcare workers had been vaccinated under the Sisonke programme.
Cabinet also welcomed the signing of a contract with J&J to procure vaccines for the full rollout programme and commended Mkhize and Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel for resolving outstanding matters relating to the procurement of the vaccines, without compromising South Africa's position.
To prepare for Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout programme which starts on 17 May 2021, Cabinet encourages people aged 60 years and older to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.
People who do not have access to the internet can register in person at more than 3 338 vaccination sites across the country. Mobile teams will also be deployed to assist the elderly, the homeless and people living in rural areas.