South Africa resumes rollout of J&J COVID-19 vaccine shots

South Africa resumes rollout of J&J COVID-19 vaccine shots

In the past few weeks, Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has been into headlines over claims of being associated with potential blood clots cases. Speculating this, many countries decided to halt its rollout over concern of public safety. However, after due consideration, South Africa has recently decided to resume administering J&J’s coronavirus jabs to health-care workers.

Confirming the news, South Africa Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that there is a one-in-a-million chance for individual inoculated with J&J’s vaccine to experience blood clot related issue. It has been found that women in the age group of 18 to 48 years are particularly at risk. However, Mkhize  suggested that Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easy to use and effective, and should be considered to be vaccinated with.

The vaccine rollout resumption is a boost for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration, which has been struggling with the region’s worst coronavirus outbreak and criticism that it has not been proactive enough in securing vaccines.

Reports state that South Africa has recorded around 1.58 million Covid-19 cases, with more than 54,000 deaths. The need to slowdown the virus has led to inoculation of single-dose J&J shots to 292,623 health workers. Since then, the vaccine has been approved for general usage, and the SA government is seeking to begin administering it as well as a two-dose vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to individuals over the age of 60 years starting May 17.

As of now, South Africa has secured vaccines for 45 million adults, with a first batch of about 1.1 million J&J shots produced at an Aspen Pharmacare Holdings facility situated in the Eastern Cape province soon to be dispatched. Mkhize said that the country will attain 650,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine by May 17, with another 325,560 expected later that month.

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