Sahpra stresses process must be followed before COVID-19 vaccines are approved

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) chief executive officer, Doctor Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, said a significant number of team members, as well as resources, had been dedicated to focus on the area of vaccines to fast-track the approval process.

FILE: At present, SAHPRA  is evaluating data of the Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Sputnik V COVID-19 jabs. Picture: Khongchum/123rf.com

CAPE TOWN – The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has stressed that it followed a detailed process before granting approval for COVID-19 vaccines.

At present, the regulator is evaluating data of the Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Sputnik V COVID-19 jabs.

Sahpra chief executive officer, Doctor Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, said that a significant number of team members, as well as resources, had been dedicated to focus on the area of vaccines to fast-track the approval process.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo, said they were marching to Sahpra's offices on Friday to demand the speedy rollout of these COVID-19 vaccines.

"The EFF will be marching to the Sahpra offices to say one thing: Supply the Sputnik V and Sinovac and any other vaccine that can help curb the coronavirus. Our people need it, this country's survival needs it."

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The regulator said that the Sputnik V application was a rolling review as the data became available to the applicant once it was submitted to Sahpra.

Semete-Makokotlela stressed the safety, quality, and efficacy of vaccines are key.

"It is a constitutional right for a South African to march, we just hope and urge the team to comply with COVID-19 protocols - wearing of marks, social distancing... As alluded to, we're seeing the high numbers in Gauteng and we really need to make sure that through non-pharmaceutical measures, these are managed."

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