JAKARTA - South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that his country has divided the COVID-19 vaccines into three groupings based on various considerations.
In the first group considering immediate use, South Africa included Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines.
Mkhize said that South Africa had ordered a large number of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, where the deal would be finalized in the next few days. As well, holding discussions with Moderna.
The Pfizer vaccine is in pending status to be delivered and is expected to arrive shortly. Meanwhile, for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, last week the South African Government began launching its use for research studies targeting health workers.
"The next batch of 80.000 doses of Johnson & Johnson for research studies will arrive on Saturday (this week)", he told Reuters.
"The Ministry of Health and Finance has approved a mechanism that will compensate any citizen who may suffer adverse effects from the J&J or Pfizer vaccines", he added.
Meanwhile, in the second group, the Ministry's Advisory Committee on Vaccines has placed the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and alternatives to Sinopharm and China's Sinovac. South Africa is interested, but local authorities say they still need further technical information.
Initial agreements have been signed with the vaccine manufacturers in this group, which include offers for vaccine doses to negotiating prices.
Finally, there are vaccines alerted by AstraZeneca and Novavax which are said to be probably not suitable for immediate use in South Africa in the third group.
The use of AstraZeneca Vaccination has been suspended because the results of these trials only provide minimal protection against mild to moderate diseases caused by the dominant local variant of the coronavirus.
Regarding South Africa's AstraZeneca Vaccine stock, Mkhize said South Africa would sell it, not donate, the vaccine stock to the African Union.
South Africa has recorded nearly half of the deaths from COVID-19 and more than a third of confirmed infections across Africa. The South African government plans to vaccinate 40 million people or two-thirds of the population.
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