South Africa in line to receive additional 20 million doses of J&J vaccine
London, March 14, 2021 (AltAfrica)-South Africa could receive additional 20 million doses of J and J vaccine depending on the availability of stock This is part of the agreement it penned with Johnson & Johnson while buying the initial 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses its health minister said.
“The agreement has been signed off for 11 million doses with an option for an additional 20m doses based on availability of stock,” Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a written reply to a question from a lawmaker seen by Reuters on Friday.
The country kicked off its vaccination campaign last month with J&J’s single-dose vaccine after suspending plans to administer AstraZeneca’s double-dose vaccine.
A small trial showed the AstraZeneca shot offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the dominant local coronavirus variant.
The J&J shot is being given to up to 500,000 healthcare workers in a research study to further evaluate it in the field before a larger-scale rollout is expected to start in the second quarter.
Local pharmaceutical company Aspen will be manufacturing J&J doses under licence.
As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1 528 414 the total number of deaths is 51 261 the total number of recoveries is 1 452 988 and the total number of vaccines administered is 145 544. pic.twitter.com/VqUeIKwXoh— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) March 13, 2021
Mkhize added in his written reply that the J&J vaccine was cost-effective for reasons including that it is effective against the 501Y.V2 variant first identified in South Africa late last year, it is stored at fridge temperature and it is a single-dose vaccine.
The Department of Health said on Saturday that 1541 new infections had been recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to SA to 1 528 414.
A further 82 deaths were reported, up from the previous report of 69. The country’s death ow stands at 51 261.
To date, 1 452 988 people have recovered from the virus, representing a recovery rate of 95%, the department said.
Over the past 24 hours, 32 862 tests were conducted with 15 734 coming from the private sector and 17 128 in the public sector.
KwaZulu-Natal remains the province with the highest number of active cases in the country.
Fifty percent of the deaths reported on Saturday came from the North West.
Limpopo and the Northern Cape recorded zero Covid-19 related deaths.
Breakdown for March 13, 2021:
North West – 42
Gauteng – 7
Free State – 9
Northern Cape – 0
Western Cape – 11
Limpopo – 0
KZN – 9
Eastern Cape – 1
The number of health care workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol is 145 544.
Earlier on Saturday, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional Prime Minister to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini confirmed that the king’s death on Friday was as a result of complications related to Covid-19.
According to Buthelezi, there were divisions within the royal house among relatives who wanted to bury the king in accordance with Zulu traditions, which would have seen his body being taken to all seven Zulu palaces for his subjects to pay their respects before he could be laid to rest.
However, other senior members were adamant that the Covid-19 protocols be observed. This has resulted in plans for a lying in state in Nongoma being cancelled on Saturday.