The Serum Institute of India has absolutely refunded South Africa for the 500,00zero doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which weren’t delivered to the nation after it determined to not use the vaccine as a result of it was not efficient in opposition to a brand new variant of the virus.
One million doses from the institute, which had already been delivered, have been bought on to different international locations within the African Union.
“Treasury has confirmed that the Serum Institute of India has absolutely refunded us for the remaining 500,00zero doses that had not been delivered to South Africa and the cash is already in our checking account,” Well being Minister Zweli Mkhize stated at a televised media briefing on Thursday.
“I wish to make clear this fairly clearly, as this now closes the matter of the AstraZeneca vaccine and in addition we shut it with out incurring any fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” he stated. Mkhize stated that there was an enormous concern amongst South Africans that these vaccines would now be wasted.
“However we wish to point out that all the AstraZeneca vaccines have been salvaged,” he stated.
“The a million doses that we now have obtained have been bought to the African Union platform and have been distributed to many African international locations, who’ve been in a position now to have entry to those vaccines,” Mkhize stated.
The minister defined why different states in Africa may use the 500,00zero doses of the vaccine, which had been rejected by South Africa.
“The distinction between us and a few of these international locations is that they really haven’t got the identical variant as what we now have obtained and subsequently in addition they haven’t got proof of their international locations that the AstraZeneca can be an issue.
“So, in these international locations we go by the WHO pointers that stated it could possibly be used, even when there are different variants in different international locations,” he stated.
Mkhize stated South Africa would proceed to help AstraZeneca’s efforts and would cope with them once more once they may present that they’d developed a vaccine with efficacy in opposition to the brand new variant in South Africa.
He additionally outlined plans for the vaccine rollout in South Africa from different suppliers.
“We have now now secured 51 million doses of vaccines with the agreements which were signed – 31 million from Johnson and Johnson, which is a one-dose vaccine; and 20 million from Pfizer, which is a two-dose vaccine.
“Which means we will now transfer ahead with confidence as we finalise our plans for our mass rollout marketing campaign, which is because of formally start on the finish of section one on Might 17,” he stated.
South Africa began the primary section by vaccinating its healthcare employees. The second section of six months will goal the aged, folks with comorbidities, and employees in important providers, with the remainder of the inhabitants following within the third section.
“If we did not have this debacle with the AstraZeneca vaccines, we might have been in a position to transfer sooner, as we now have indicated to the general public,” Mkhize stated as he expressed hope that South Africa would obtain herd immunity in opposition to COVID-19 inside a 12 months.