New Delhi: A week after receiving one million doses of AstraZeneca Covid vaccines, South Africa has now asked the Serum Institute of India (SII) to take them back as the country said it will put on hold use of AstraZeneca shots in its vaccination drive, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday. ALSO READ | Mumbai Mayor Hints At Another Lockdown In The City As Covid Cases Surge
South Africa’s decision to halt the emergency use of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine due to a trial result which revealed that the jab provided only limited protection against mild and moderate cases of new variant of coronavirus found in the country.
The trail result was based on data from a study by South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University in the UK. SII was scheduled to send another 5,00,000 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to South Africa in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the African country is yet to kick off its Covid vaccination drive and reports suggest that it will now go with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, starting with healthcare workers.
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The development comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) approved SII’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. Post WHO’s approval, the vaccine can be rolled out globally and participate in the COVAX programme that aims to bring vaccines to poorer countries.
Even Australia’s drug regulator on Tuesday approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, ending months of delay to give full approval.
As many as 10,97,32,752 cases of Coronavirus has been reported as of February 16 globally, according to worldometers.com. A total of 24,20,375 people have died of the virus so far.