S Africa to relinquish AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine; move ahead with J&J’s drug

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 11, 2021 Published on February 11, 2021

To sell the 1.5 million acquired doses of the vaccine; secure the unauthorised vaccine from J&J for inoculation

South Africa has decided to scrap AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out plan and will instead, move ahead with Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine jabs, as per media reports.

This comes a week after the country put a hold on the vaccination drive using AstraZeneca’s vaccine, citing minimal protection against the mutated strain of the virus.

Also read: Covid-19 mutation may compel Serum Institute to make changes in vaccine composition

The country plans to sell the 1.5 million acquired doses of the vaccine and will secure the unauthorised J&J’s vaccine for inoculation.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said to the media that South Africa had relinquished plans to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine because it “does not prevent mild to moderate disease” caused by the variant circulating in the country.

Also read: AstraZeneca vaccine effective against Covid-19 variants: UK

The country took this decision after a study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed and did not incorporate findings of the severe cases, suggested that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine provided “minimal protection” against mild disease from the variant.

“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,” Mkhize said, as cited in the Forbes report.

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Published on February 11, 2021
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