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

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

Vaccinations are due to start this week, he added.

About the vaccine: Developed by Janssen, vaccine division of Johnson & Johnson based in Belgium, the single dose vaccine has been shown to be effective in preventing moderate and severe diseases of the South African variant of the coronavirus.

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 initial data suggested that it provided only “minimal protection” against mild and moderate infections of the South African variant.