South Africa scraps AstraZeneca, pivots to Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Covid 19 South African Strain Variant

Mkhize confirmed that vaccination of healthcare workers would start this week, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and with the exact date to be announced by the president, although it is likely to be as soon as Wednesday, according to media reports. It was not clear whether the choice was a deliberate response to the recommendation by the government's top adviser.

The institute is not immediately available for comment.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be the first to be used as it is shown by a large worldwide clinical trial to be effective in offering protection from the variant that is now dominant in South Africa, he said. "The regulator has given its recommendation based on some data and we should adopt that", Paul said. South Africa will reportedly try to trade them with countries that do not have high incidences of the variant, known as B1.351 or 501Y.V2.

Mkhize said that it must be understood that the sole goal of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine rollout is to save lives and protect healthcare workers. Out of which, 2,99,797 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 10,574 sessions for the first dose and 1,35,730 HCWs received the second dose of vaccine.

A hospital patient from CT was transferred to an unidentified hospital in the city with the region's first confirmed case of the variant, but officials haven't found evidence of community spread in New York, Cuomo said during a press briefing.

"It proves that some have questions", Fran├žois told BFM TV, calling for additional Pfizer-BioNTech shots.

"In India, the strain has been detected in four different South Africa returnees in January 2021, one each from Angola and Tanzania and two from South Africa", said Dr Balram Bhargava, director general, ICMR.

Officials have expressed growing concern over the spread in the east, along the German border.

After the Astrazeneca vaccine arrived in the country, it was found not to be effective against the strain first detected here in South Africa.

The country will receive its first delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine tonight.

The strategy shift was welcomed by doctors unions this week.

"However, it is important that people aged 16 or over in the identified area take a Covid-19 test as directed". "Neutralisation potential with United Kingdom variant of the virus is there with the vaccine that we have", he added.

While the South African variant (B.1.351) has spread to at least 44 countries, the Brazilian strain (P.1 lineage) has spread to 15 countries.

The government in France hopes that accelerated vaccinations and a nationwide 6p.m. curfew will keep the variants in check.

"Today, WHO gave emergency use listing to two versions of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said to journalists Monday.

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