Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, says there’s not going to be wasteful and fruitless expenditure on the AstraZeneca vaccine that was purchased in India but found to be ineffective on the  COVID-19 variant that was first detected in South Africa.

Mkhize was taking part in the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Tuesday.

The video below is the SONA debate:

He says the doses that South Africa had purchased have been offered to African Union (AU) platform and will be distributed to countries that do not have the variant that’s dominant in South Africa.

“We also want to refute categorically the speculation in the media that we’ve returned to state of India, we have not. AstraZeneca doses which were purchased have been offered to the AU platform which we are part of … and they will be distributed to the countries that indicate interest. There will be no wasteful and fruitless expenditure,” explains Mkhize.

Last week, Mkhize said the deal to procure the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute in India was sealed before the new variant of the coronavirus was detected in South Africa.

A few days ago, Mkhize announced a halting on the rollout of the vaccine, much to the disappointment of 1.2 million healthcare workers who were desperately waiting to be vaccinated against the virus.

In the video below, Minister Mkhize briefs the media on the department’s vaccination plan: