The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has approved the use of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, Sinopharm.
The two-dose injection was registered on January 31 and deemed fit for use of adults aged 18 years and older.
This approval now makes Sinopharm the third vaccine which is available to South Africans.
Vaccines by Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson were approved early last year.
In a statement, SAHPRA says that Sinopharm has been registered by a South Africa firm, McPharm.
The company made the application in June 2021.
The vaccines offer 79% protection against hospitalisation but its data has not included research around Omicron.
One of the conditions of approval is that McPharm must submit more information regarding efficacy on the latest variant.
In May last year, the World Health Organisation approved the Sinopharm vaccine for COVID-19 emergencies.
More details in the report below:
SA’s vaccine rollout
South Africa’s vaccination programme has taken a slump in the last few weeks.
More than 30 million doses have been administered country-wide.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has reminded the public that booster COVID-19 vaccines are available.
People who received the second dose of their Pfizer jab at least six months ago can now get their booster shot.
Johnson and Johnson’s booster vaccines are available to those who received their first J&J shot at least two months ago.
Many countries are expanding COVID-19 vaccine booster programmes to shore up protection against the Omicron variant.
In the related video below, SAPHRA approves the second shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people over 18 years:
SA’s COVID-19 stats
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has on Sunday reported 1 752 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 623 962.
This increase represents an 8.0% positivity rate.
The NICD has also cautioned that owing to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of COVID-19 mortality cases reported.
The department has reported 18 deaths and of these, eight occurred in the past 24–48 hours.
-Additional reporting by SABC News