Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the government is considering swapping the AstraZeneca vaccine that has been procured from the Serum Institute of India.
That’s because studies made public last week indicate that the vaccine offered minimal protection against mild and moderate disease for people infected with the new variant that’s dominant in South Africa.
Last week Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza received the first batch of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at the OR Tambo International Airport.
President Ramaphosa receives COVID-19 vaccines from India:
Clinical trial data revealed that it had a 22% efficacy against the new coronavirus variant.
Mkhize said on Wednesday morning in a media briefing, that they could swap the vaccine before its April expiry date.
“Our scientists will continue with further deliberations on the AstraZeneca vaccine use in South Africa. Depending on their advice, the vaccine will be swopped before the expiry date. By exchanging the unused vaccines before the expiry date, will ensure that the acquired AstraZeneca vaccine does not become wasteful and fruitful expenditure,” explains Mkhize.
In the video below, Minister Mkhize briefs the media on the department’s vaccination plan: