UCT Professor Among First To Get Covid Vaccine

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University of Cape Town Professor, Lydia Cairncross, was part of the first South Africans to get the Covid vaccine. Higher Health held discussions on including medical students who are working in hospitals in the first phase of the vaccine rollout.


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Prof Lydia Cairncross, Head of the University of Cape Town's (UCT) Clinical Unit in Surgery joined those healthcare workers who were the first to receive the Covid vaccine yesterday.

Cairncross forms part of the Faculty of Health Sciences & Groote Schuur Hospital and is also a Social Justice activist from People's Health Movement South Africa.

UCT was proud to showcase her vaccination:

Many students at college or varsity live in busy residences, so are being considered for earlier vaccine rollouts. Regarding the health care students, Minister Blade Nzimande said “the strategy will help to ensure access to vaccination for our students and staff, of which priority for inclusion in the Phase 1 of the vaccine rollout programme are our frontline campus healthcare staff and health sciences students, especially the nursing, medicine and other disciplines.”

The minister also said the PSET vaccination strategy will develop a phased road map towards vaccination of all frontline and essential staff, student and staff volunteers, student support structures, as well as staff and students living with comorbidities across all campuses.

Thousands of peer educators and student volunteers will also be trained, with support from student leadership and staff, to render knowledge, education and information to support the massive countrywide vaccination drive.

The first batch of Covid vaccines arrived in South Africa on Tuesday and rollout steadily began the following Wednesday afternoon in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

The President as well as Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, received the vaccine as well. President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “To demonstrate our confidence in this vaccine and help allay any fears that people may have, the Minister of Health and I will join the first health care workers to receive the vaccine in Khayelitsha".

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides 57% protection against moderate-severe disease, 85% protection against severe disease and 100% protection against death.


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