Serum Institute of India refunds South Africa for undelivered Covid-19 vaccines

JOHANNESBURG: The Serum Institute of India has totally refunded South Africa for the 500,000 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.
1,000,000 doses from the institute, which had already been delivered, have been bought on to different nations within the African Union.
“Treasury has confirmed that the Serum Institute of India has totally refunded us for the remaining 500,000 doses that had not been delivered to South Africa and the cash is already in our checking account,” Well being Minister Zweli Mkhize mentioned 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 mentioned.
Mkhize mentioned that there was an enormous concern amongst South Africans that these vaccines would now be wasted.
“However we wish to point out that the entire AstraZeneca vaccines have been salvaged,” he mentioned.
“The a million doses that we’ve acquired have been bought to the African Union platform and have been distributed to many African nations, who’ve been ready now to have entry to those vaccines,” Mkhize mentioned.
The minister defined why different states in Africa may use the 500,000 doses of the vaccine, which have been rejected by South Africa.
“The distinction between us and a few of these nations is that they really haven’t got the identical variant as what we’ve bought and due to this fact additionally they haven’t got proof of their nations that the AstraZeneca could be an issue.
“So, in these nations we go by the WHO tips that mentioned it might be used, even when there are different variants in different nations,” he mentioned.
Mkhize mentioned South Africa would proceed to assist AstraZeneca’s efforts and would cope with them once more after they may present that that they had 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 now have now secured 51 million doses of vaccines with the agreements which have been 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 that 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 part one on Could 17,” he mentioned.
South Africa began the primary part by vaccinating its healthcare employees. The second part of six months will goal the aged, individuals with comorbidities, and employees in important providers, with the remainder of the inhabitants following within the third part.
“If we did not have this debacle with the AstraZeneca vaccines, we might have been capable of transfer sooner, as we’ve indicated to the general public,” Mkhize mentioned as he expressed hope that South Africa would obtain herd immunity in opposition to COVID-19 inside a yr.

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