Sinovac says SAHPRA's approval of CoronaVac comes at the right time

Once contractual, logisitical and other agreements are concluded, the nation will receive its first batch of 2.5 million doses.

FILE: The double dose shot, which has a provisional two-year shelf life, can be administered to those aged 18 to 59 with a spacing of two to four weeks between doses. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Sinovac-Numolux on Sunday said the emergency use of a third vaccine in the country could not have come at a better time considering the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine is the latest jab to be approved in South Africa, joining Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, after the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) made the announcement on Saturday.

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The double dose shot, which has a provisional two-year shelf life, can be administered to those aged 18 to 59 with a spacing of two to four weeks between doses.

Once contractual, logisitical and other agreements are concluded, the nation will receive its first batch of 2.5 million doses.

At this stage, Sinovac has committed to provide a total of five million doses.

Numolux, Sinovac's local representative body, said considering the rising cases and the country's lagging vaccine drive, news of another vaccine were welcome.

“The approval is hugely significant because for us, the important thing is heard immunity. The fact that we are able to help and make a contribution and making Sinovac available is really just almost consequential,” COO Anton Arendse said.

The Department of Health said the CoronaVac vaccine's approval was a turning point and much-needed relief for the country's ailing vaccine drive.

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