South Africa halts use of J&J vaccine over blood clot-related cases

The country has by far lost 53,498 lives to the deadly virus, with 1,561,559 confirmed cases

Following reports of unusual blood clots in people inoculated with Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, South Africa has decided to suspend vaccine rollout with immediate effect. According to South Africa Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, the advisory set by the US FDA has urged them to voluntarily suspend J&J’s vaccine rollout until the issue of blood clot development is effectively resolved.

Mkhize stressed that there has not been any reports of clots in the country despite inoculating nearly 289,787 health care workers. Mostly, cases of blood clot-related complications have been recorded in the US.

Mkhize assured that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority will collect all available information from the FDA, Johnson & Johnson, and other regulatory bodies to assess the situation, and hopes that a decision is made in a few days.

He added that given to the information attained so far, scientists in South Africa are positive that the US FDA’s decision was made on a precautionary basis and hope that it will not result in the complete suspension withdrawal of the J&J vaccine from the vaccination armament.

Being optimistic, the minister said that they are confident that the J&J vaccine rollout will resume soon. With 30 million J&J doses and 30 million Pfizer doses, the country possesses enough jabs to vaccinate about 40 million people this year.

This target comes in line with its commitment to vaccinate as many people as possible in FY 2021. Ideally, they hope of vaccinating every single adult in South Africa, said the minister.

According to a Johns Hopkins University report, South Africa has by far lost 53,498 lives to the COVID-19 virus, with 1,561,559 confirmed cases.

Source Credit: https://thewire.in/health/jj-vaccine-suspended-by-south-africa