South Africa has received its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, the country’s health minister announced Tuesday, putting it on target to become the first in the world to administer the shot. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Twitter that South Africa had secured a total 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the first delivery containing 80,000 shots.

Vaccinations are due to begin this week, he added.

About the vaccine: Developed by Janssen, Johnson & Johnson’s Belgium-based vaccine division, the single-dose vaccine has shown to be effective in preventing moderate and severe disease from South Africa’s coronavirus variant.

The AstraZeneca vaccine: South Africa said it plans to share 1 million unwanted doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries in the African Union, after early data suggests it provided only “minimal protection” against mild and moderate infections from the South African variant.

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