Sci-tech

South Africa offers its AstraZeneca jabs to African Union

South Africa offers its AstraZeneca jabs to African Union”

SAMA chairwoman Angelique Coetzee said vaccinations would happen at hospitals in each of the country's nine provinces.

As many as 87,20,822 beneficiaries have been vaccinated through 1,84,303 sessions, as per the provisional report till 8 AM.

Bhushan said that 14 states and Union Territories had covered more than 70% of healthcare workers as far as the first dose of the vaccine was concerned, while eight states had given second dose to over 60% of them.

More than 160 vaccinators will be deployed who will each inoculate approximately 48 people a day.

South Africa intends to vaccinate 40 million people, representing about 67% of its population, by the end of the year, according to Mkhize.

Studies have already found that the homegrown Covid-19 vaccine named Covaxin, jointly developed by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR, is effective against the United Kingdom variant which has so far been detected in 187 cases in India."There is so far no evidence that either the United Kingdom or the South Africa variants have had any effect on the epidemic patterns in India - we don't see any clustering, no unusual trends or reinfections", a senior scientist associated with the sequencing effort told The Telegraph.

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Mkhize confirmed that an additional 500 000 doses of the J&J vaccine has been secured and are expected to arrive in the country over the next four weeks.

The country paused the rollout of AstraZeneca doses thismonth, after preliminary trial data showed they offered minimalprotection against mild to moderate illness from the country'sdominant coronavirus variant.

South Africa procured 1.5-million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the cost of $5.25 a dose but suspended plans to administer these last week.

According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the South Africa strain accounts for at least 80 per cent of new cases identified during the country's second wave of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian variant or P.1 lineage, has been found in the first week of February in a person who returned from Brazil recently. She told reporters in the capital, Harare, that the variant now accounts for 61% of cases in the country. Instead, the country will share the doses of the vaccine with other countries via the African Union.

The ministry received one million doses of the vaccine from the Serum Institute of India at the beginning of the month.



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