SA to return batch of AstraZeneca vaccines as Covid19 cases decline

SA to return batch of AstraZeneca vaccines as Covid19 cases decline

- Reports indicate that the South African government has elected to return the AstraZeneca vaccines to India

- This comes despite the medication recording positive results on a global scale

- Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has declined

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Reports claim that the South African government has opted to send the AstraZeneca vaccines back to India.

The vaccine managed to record positive results across the globe but failed to prevent infections in the 501Y.V2 variant that has become dominant in SA.

The Serum Institute of India, which had produced the batch of vaccines that arrived in SA, is anticipated to collect the consignment.

new cases, declining, fewer tests, SA asks India take back 1m vaccines

SA has opted to send the AstraZeneca vaccines back to India. Image: THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP
Source: Getty Images

The vaccines in question will then be redistributed to nations where this variant isn't dominant.

While this has been an unfortunate start to the vaccine campaign in South Africa other major inoculations are set to arrive in the country soon.

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The nation will be receiving batches from both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson in the coming days.

The vaccination programme will be delayed by two weeks by the ordeal with President Cyril Ramaphosa confirming that 21 million doses will be provided by the companies.

AstraZeneca is set to continue working on a 'booster shot' that is more capable of being used against the mutation first uncovered in SA.

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country continues to decline with the cumulative number sitting at 1 492 909 as per the Department of Health.

However, the nation continues to record fatalities with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize commenting that:

"Regrettably, 195 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 25, Free State 11, Gauteng 58, Kwa-Zulu Natal 3, North West 30, Northern Cape 6 and Western Cape 62 which brings the total to 48 094 deaths"

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the president stated that the AstraZeneca vaccine's low efficacy will not delay the vaccine rollout in the country, which is set to start in March.

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Ramaphosa added that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is more effective against the 501Y.V2 variant, will be used.

The country has secured 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with the first batch of 80 000 doses expected to arrive in the country next week.

Pfizer has also committed 20 million vaccines and the country has secured 12 million vaccine doses from the global COVAX facility:

"Pfizer has committed 20 million vaccine doses commencing with deliveries at the end of the first quarter. We are continuing our engagements with all the vaccine manufacturers to ensure that we secure sufficient quantities of vaccines that are suitable to our conditions. In addition, we have secured 12 million vaccine doses from the global COVAX facility."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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