Health department says Coronavac approval gives much-needed relief for SA

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the approval was a turning point for the country's much-criticised vaccine rollout drive.

Boxes of Sinovac's Covid-19 coronavirus CoronaVac vaccine are pictured during a vaccination drive at Bang Sue Central Station in Bangkok on May 24, 2021. Picture: Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Health Department has described news of the Coronavac COVID-19 vaccine's approval as a turning point and much-needed relief for the country.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) on Saturday announced that it's given the green light for the use of Sinovac's Coronavac locally.

The approval of the double-dose Chinese jab was subject to certain conditions, including that its manufacturers submit final results of ongoing clinical data.

The vaccine can be issued to those between the ages of 18 and 59.

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the approval was a turning point for the country's much-criticised vaccine rollout drive.

The nation has breached the two million mark of confirmed COVID-19 cases and reached a new record of new daily infections in the latest reporting cycle.

“This approval came at a time when government was implementing an extended and multi-pronged vaccination programme to reach as many people. So, this will enable government to initiate procurement processes to secure more vaccines,” said ministerial spokesperson Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota.

The department also thanked Sahpra for its sense of urgency at this critical time.

“More information on the vaccine including the level of safety and efficacy against the current dominant Delta variant will be made available at a later stage once a formal report has been received from Sahpra,” said Nhlabathi-Mokota.

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