The South African Health Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) says data on the effectiveness of Ivermectin in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 is expected to be available in a few weeks’ time.
Ivermectin is registered with SAHPRA for use in the treatment of animals.
There’s a growing illegal distribution of the drug following reports that it is effective in combating COVID-19. Some medical experts, along with the National Freedom Party, are lobbying for the drug to be approved for use in humans.
SAHPRA Chairperson Professor Helen Rees has pleaded with the public and doctors not to distribute or take the drug until its safety and efficacy are verified.
“There needs to be more clinical trial data. There are some better-designed large trials that are under way in South America and we are hoping to get some of these results in the next few weeks. Nobody, including the World Health Organisation and other regulatory authorities, nobody is currently recommending its use for treatment or prevention. If people are giving it, nobody would know even what dose to give, so it’s very easy to overdose. What we would plead is in a few more weeks we will have more definitive data if people can be patient with us and we will be able to have a definitive answer,” says Rees.
SAHPRA says more clinical trials must be conducted before Ivermectin can be used to treat COVID-19
SA to get first batch of vaccine in January
On Thursday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health that the country would receive the first batch of vaccine in January and another in February.
He says that priority will be given to the more than one million health workers in both the private and the public sectors.
The country has also recorded 616 new COVID-19 related fatalities on Friday.
In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says most of the new deaths were recorded in the Eastern Cape.
DISCUSSION: South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy