- South Africa has approved the emergency usage of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
- The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority confirmed the news in a statement on Tuesday, 16 March
- South Africans have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts about bringing the vaccine into the country
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has approved the emergency use of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Sahpra said in a statement that the approval was subject to efficacy and safety surveillance.
The country has ordered around 20 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine but the date of arrival has not yet been confirmed. Reports say that SA is the country that has impacted the worst by Covid-19 in Africa.
South Africa has the highest Covid-19 recorded cases and death due to the second wave which was driven by the 501Y.V2 variant dubbed the 'South African variant'.
IOL reported that the South African government managed to secure the 20 million doses of the vaccine which require two dosages. This follows negotiations with deliveries expected to be in soon but the date has still not been confirmed.
A report by EWN confirmed that Sahpra would monitor the vaccine.
Below are some of the responses from South Africans to Sahpra's tweet:
"Is this a section 21 and reg 30 (clinical trial) permit then? Not a reg 29 unmet medical need s21 permit?"
"Oh my golly. Will it even be safe? Not much is working in this country anymore."
@PiweLG tweeted in response:
"Took them long enough!"
"Mxm we need Sputnik vaccine, not these expensive western nonsense."
Briefly.co.za recently reported on 5 March 2021 that it has been a year since the virus made its way into SA. 'Patient 0' was a 38-year-old male who returned from a trip to Italy with his wife and a group of 8 other people.
Since then, there have been 1.52 million cases identified, 1.44 million recoveries and 50 462 reported deaths. South Africans have been in lockdown since 27 March 2020 after the lockdown was announced on 23 March.
The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has been positive, so far, with frontline healthcare workers being the first to receive the vaccine in Phase 1.
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