Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi, a labour-ward nurse at Khayelitsha District Hospital in the Western Cape made history on Wednesday when she became South Africa’s first ever citizen to take the Covid-19 vaccine jab.
Moments later three of her colleagues followed in her footsteps, Dr Sa’ad Lahri, Mavuyo Mpambani of housekeeping and Cwengisa Dadirai, an admin clerk.
South Africa received the first consignment of 80,000 shots of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Tuesday night.
Government distributed the vaccines across 18 sites countrywide, where the first vaccinations of healthcare workers began on Wednesday.
— Cyril Ramaphosa ???????? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 17, 2021
The four were later joined by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, and his Deputy Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla.
Ramaphosa gave assurances that the jab was safe, as it had been approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).
— Presidency | South Africa ???????? (@PresidencyZA) February 17, 2021
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shown in extensive trials to be safe and efficacious and will protect our healthcare workers from illness and death from Covid-19,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has also called on leaders in various sectors and parts of the country to lead by example and get inoculated publicly.
“We will therefore witness some premiers, MECs and leaders from civil society, religious formations and traditional leadership being vaccinated in all provinces.”