Co-Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says they are considering a staggered approach to the roll-out of the AstraZeneca vaccine in South Africa.
This would include an initial 100 000 doses of the vaccine being administered.
On Sunday, government announced a temporary halt to the rollout of the vaccine after preliminary research showed it to be less effective against the new variant discovered in South Africa.
The research is not yet peer-reviewed and did not provide data on older people who are most likely to die or need hospitalisation.
Addressing a WHO briefing, Karim explained the approach government is considering.
In the video below, WHO updates on COVID-19 vaccine rollout:
“We are just not confident about its efficacy against the 501.Y.V2 variant and so we proposing an alternate approach to roll out the vaccine. One proposal that [is] currently being considered is to roll it out just in a manner where the first step includes about 100 000 individuals that are vaccinated in which we monitor the hospitalisation rates.”
“All that has been suggested at this point is to delay the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine until we have the processes in place to undertake this kind of implementation approach,” adds Karim.