SAHPRA won't release 2 million J&J vaccines stored in Gqeberha

The US will be sending 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to South Africa as a matter of extreme urgency.

Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. © Volodymyr Kalyniuk/123rf

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said it would not release the 2 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses stored in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape, due to contamination.

After reviewing the data provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, South Africa has decided against releasing the J& J COVID-19 vaccines– throwing a spanner in the works of the government’s already overdue vaccine rollout.

In a statement, the regulator confirmed that the vaccines were compromised at the US vaccine plant in Baltimore.

The setback comes as the third wave sets in – with South Africa recording 9,320 new cases – inflating the country's total caseload to over 1,739,000.

SAHPRA has endorsed the FDA's decision relating to contaminated vaccines.

The FDA declared several batches produced at its Baltimore factory unsuitable.

On Friday the administration cleared some of the batches at the plant but confirmed that it had to destroy 60 million doses that were contaminated.

The batches that were approved now have to carry a warning.

The US will be sending 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to South Africa as a matter of extreme urgency.

Sahpra has reiterated that its committed to the quality and safety of all health products and will ensure that the safety and well-being of South Africans will not be compromised in any way.

READ: South Africa pulls millions of doses of J&J vaccine

READ MORE: Acting Health Minister says 2 million J&J vaccines will no longer be used

ALSO READ: 300,000 J&J vaccine doses cleared to be shipped to SA as a matter of urgency

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.