South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was among the first in his country to receive a Covid-19 vaccination to launch the inoculation drive on Wednesday.
He effectively joins an observational study as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not yet authorized for general use anywhere in the world.
Ramaphosa was broadcast live getting the shot as part of the government’s campaign to convince its 60 million people that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe.
The doses are earmarked for front-line health workers in the first phase of South Africa’s rollout.
At least 380,000 health workers have registered online to receive the shots as part of the drive to vaccinate the country’s 1.25 million health care workers.
South Africa is expected to receive an additional 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the next four weeks.