Acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has described the announcement by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority on the approval of the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine as a turning point for the country, as South Africa battles a third wave of infections.
CoronaVac is manufactured by Sinovac Life Science, a Chinese National Pharmaceutical Group. It’s a double-dose vaccine for people between the ages of 18 to 59.
The doses will be given between 14 to 28 days apart. The Department has expressed gratitude to SAHPRA for approving the vaccine with urgency, without compromising their strict guidelines to ensure safety.
The National Department of Health says this approval came at the time when the government is implementing an expanded vaccination programme to reach as many people as possible.
This comes as the country’s infection rate continues to increase at an alarming rate.
The Health Department says this will enable government to initiate procurement processes to secure more vaccines.
SAHPRA has reduced their turnaround time to process applications for registration of medicines in the country, in particular, that of vaccines
In the video below, SAHPRA’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Boitumelo Semete Makokotlela elaborates on approval:
EFF welcomes SAHPRA announcement
The Economic Freedom Fighters has also welcomed the announcement by SAHPRA. The party says this approval is long overdue.
In a statement, the EFF says this initiative will see more South Africans get vaccinated and thus combat the rate of infections.
Last month, EFF leader Julius Malema led party members in a march to the SAHPRA head offices in Pretoria, demanding that more vaccines, including those from China and Russia be approved for use in South Africa, as well.
The video below is on the EFF demanding SAHPRA approves the use of vaccines from Russia and China: