South Africa to proceed with planned phase 1 vaccination using J&J

Written By: Kalden Ongmu WION
Johannesburg, South Africa Published: Feb 10, 2021, 02:30 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The government temporarily delayed the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in South Africa after initial trial data showed it was less effective against the dominant 501.Y.V2 Covid variant first seen in South Africa

South Africa will continue with the planned phase 1 vaccination using the Johnson & Johnson, Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize said today. 

“Given the outcomes of the efficacy studies, the Department of Health will continue with the planned phase 1 vaccination using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” the Minister said in a virtual briefing on Wednesday morning. 

Also read | WHO says do not dismiss AstraZeneca jab after South Africa suspends vaccine campaign

The government temporarily delayed the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in South Africa after initial trial data showed it was less effective against the dominant 501.Y.V2 Covid variant first seen in South Africa. 

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been proven effective against the 501Y.V2 variant and the necessary approval processes for use in South Africa are underway,” he said. 

“We will soon announce more details about the delivery of Johnson & Johnson vaccines in our new rollout strategy. It's likely to be next week, but I can't yet confirm as yet,” Mkhize said. 

The rollout of vaccination will proceed in the form of an implementation study with the partnership of the Medical Research Council and the National Department of Health vaccination sites across the country, Mkhize added.

The minister also gave clarity on what is going to happen to the 1 million doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine already bought from Serum Institute of India.

“We intend to use the AstraZeneca vaccine based in what experts will say...We are waiting for experts to give us advise,” he said.

“In the rest of the world, it (AstraZeneca) Vaccine is highly well used. There are already some countries who are asking us to sell it to them. All we can say to our public, we will not waste the money. We will either swap the vaccine and get different vaccine or get fresh batch,” the minister added. 

As of Tuesday, South Africa reported 1.48 million positive cases and 46,869 deaths. 


 

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