Mkhize to announce SA's response to global concern about J&J vaccine at 7pm

This after the CDC and FDA recommended that the US halt the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine over potential links to a rare type of blood clot.

FILE: Nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi was the first person in South Africa to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, 17 February 2021. Picture: Siya Duda.

CAPE TOWN - South AfricaN Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is set to make an announcement at 7pm on Tuesday about South Africa's response following the announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the temporary suspension of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

Business Day earlier on Tuesday reported that "discussions are under way between South Africa’s medicines regulator, the health minister and researchers, until there's greater clarity on the possible link between the vaccine and the blood-clotting events reported in the US and Europe”.

On Tuesday the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the country halt the use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine after six reported cases where patients developed rare and severe blood clots.

ALSO READ: US regulators recommend 'pause' in use of J&J vaccine, EU to delay roll-out

In a statement, the FDA said these cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48 and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.

The US health authorities stated that the recommended "pause" in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was "out of an abundance of caution".

At least 6.8 million jabs have been administered in the US to date.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday it would delay rollout of its vaccine in Europe after US authorities moved to suspend use of the shot due to health concerns.

"We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe," J&J said, adding that it was reviewing the cases with European health authorities.

South Africa has already administered the same vaccine to almost 290,000 healthcare workers and more doses are en route for use in the mass vaccination drive.

Additional reporting by AFP.

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