President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday joined the first group of healthcare workers in Cape Town to be vaccinated for Covid-19 using the recently landed Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
Ramaphosa was joined by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize at Khayelitsha District Hospital to receive their jabs.
This followed the arrival of the first consignment of 80,000 shots of the J&J vaccine on Tuesday evening at OR Tambo International Airport.
The president said the rollout of the vaccine represented a huge milestone in the country’s efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was rather pleased that there were five people who were vaccinated before me, and they’re health workers. It was a joy to watch them to see whether anything happened to them and gladly nothing happened to them,” he said.
“It means that being vaccinated is a fairly straightforward process.”
Ramaphosa said he was impressed that the process was quick and easy.
“I must say that at first, I was a bit terrified of this long needle that was going to be embedded into my arm, but it happened so quickly and easily. It was just a prick on my flesh and I really did not feel much pain,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “I think it’s going to be flawless and done effectively. And as we get more and more of these vaccines I think we will be able to vaccinate up to 40 million South Africans that we should.”
[Photos] President @CyrilRamaphosa receives the coronavirus #COVID19SA vaccine at the Khayelitsha District Hospital, Western Cape #VaccineNation????#VaccinesForSouthAfrica #VaccineRolloutSA???????? pic.twitter.com/3r4kulOrrd
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) February 17, 2021
The president encouraged South Africans to also take part in the vaccination programme.
“I’d like to invite South Africans to take this up so that we can all be safe and healthy.”
South Africa has secured nine million doses of the J&J vaccine and an additional 500,000 doses are expected to land on home soil in the next four weeks.