South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has received a coronavirus vaccine as the country begins the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson jabs.
He was injected in front of the cameras in Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town and later tweeted: “Taking the vaccine was quick, easy and not so painful.
“I urge all our healthcare workers to register to receive their vaccinations as they are our first line of defence against the coronavirus pandemic.”
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and other healthcare workers were also vaccinated with first batch of 80,000 of the Johnson & Johnson doses which arrived in the country on Tuesday evening.
“This day represents a real milestone for us as South Africans, that finally the vaccines are here, and they are being administered,” the President Ramaphosa was quoted as saying after his injection.
Africa’s worst-hit country had been due to start its vaccine rollout last week but was delayed due to concerns over the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which it had intended to use, against a fast-spreading coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa in November.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose shot, it is considerably easier to administer.