Govt might include AstraZeneca jab as it shows efficacy against Delta variant

During his first briefing as Health Minister on Friday morning, Joe Phaahla also said the ministerial advisory committee on COVID-19 vaccines has given the go-ahead for the Sinovac vaccine to be incorporated as part of the country's mass vaccination drive.

FILE: Earlier this year, government canned the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to its low efficacy against the Beta variant. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Government is considering including the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the arsenal against the pandemic.

During his first briefing as Health Minister on Friday morning, Joe Phaahla also said the ministerial advisory committee on COVID-19 vaccines had given the go-ahead for the Sinovac vaccine to be incorporated as part of the country's mass vaccination drive.

Over 8.3 million coronavirus vaccines have been administered in South Africa so far.

Earlier this year, government canned the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to its low efficacy against the Beta variant.

Phaahla said government was considering making the vaccine available again: “The AstraZeneca vaccine, which has now been shown to be effective against the Delta variant... we should also look at bringing it back into use. Of course, some work will need to be done in terms of the regulatory aspect.”

The national coronavirus command council has also approved the Sinovac jab to be included in the fight against the coronavirus.

This shot has been provisionally approved for use by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, subject to the results of ongoing clinical studies being submitted to the regulator.

Government has assured South Africans there are currently enough COVID-19 vaccine stocks available.

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