SAHPRA in advanced stage of reviewing emergency use application for Pfizer vaccine

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The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) says it is at an advanced stage of reviewing an emergency use application for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

SAHPRA Spokesperson Yuven Gounden says the application is for full market access and Section 21 which is
an instrument for emergency use access of a health product that is registered and is valid for six months.

SAHPRA granted AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Section 21 approval in January.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy is reduced against the 501Y.V2 variant: Study 

Meanwhile, as South Africa marks a year after the first positive coronavirus case was detected in the country, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says they are still waiting for information on the efficacy of AstraZeneca in treating some variants of the virus.

“We actually go by the advice of what is best for the country. At this point we think that scientists must help us to sort out the issues around AstraZeneca, then we will of course move on. But that does not mean that the vaccine is not effective. It is effective, we’ve just got a different variant,” says Mkhize.

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On Thursday, the Department of Health confirmed 1 404 new cases, bringing the total to 1 517 666.

Recoveries now stand at 1 436 010, representing a recovery rate of 94,6%.

The number of healthcare workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Programme is 92 029.