Tracking the deployment of SA’s Covid-19 vaccine

The government is working to “guarantee” it 67% of the population I am planning to get vaccinated by the end of 2021.

In other words, the government will procure, distribute and arrange for vaccination of 40 million citizens in nine months.


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The government is the only purchaser of the Covid-19 vaccine. However, the vaccine must first be approved for use by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra). Sahpra is responsible for regulating all health products and clinical trials in South Africa.

As of December 2, 2020, Sahpra reported that only 58 Covid-19 vaccine candidates worldwide are in clinical study. Of these, 43 are in Phase I-II trials, 15 are Phase II-III trials, and the vaccine has not yet fully completed Phase III trials.

The approvals for the various vaccines used in SA are:

Kobi Shield / Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

On January 22, 2021, Sahpra granted Covishield’s Ministry of Public Health approval for Section 21 (unregistered drug). Covishield is the local name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by the Indian Serum Institute and developed in the United Kingdom.

One million will arrive in January, and another 500,000 will arrive in February.

However, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been temporarily suspended until efficacy for the new Covid-19501Y.V2 variant has been confirmed.

Recent reports summarized in Lancet A second dose, 12 weeks after the first dose, shows that the vaccine is more effective.

The dose obtained in South Africa is valid for 16 April, so it can only be given once.

Health Minister Zwelli Mukize tweeted on February 10 that “what will happen to the current dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine already in SA depends on the advice of top scientists.”

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

South Africa has been vaccinated 9 million times with the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine and 80,000 times on February 16. It will be inoculated 500,000 more times in the next 4 weeks.

Sahpra has granted an emergency use authorization for the J & J vaccine. 300,000 doses of this vaccine have already been tested and approved for use under research conditions by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).

“The vaccine will proceed in the form of conducted research through a partnership between the SA Medical Research Council and the National Ministry of Public Health,” according to a media statement from the Ministry of Public Health dated February 16.

Other possible vaccines

Mkhize, in his speech at the presidential debate State of country address (Sona21) states: “As a government, we are actively involved with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers and suppliers through different but interrelated channels.”

He added: “These include other mechanisms such as the Covax facility, bilateral agreements with pharmaceutical companies, and the African Union’s vaccine financing strategy and vaccine acquisition task team. These initiatives have led to multiple so far. We are now able to partner with vaccine manufacturers: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Modana, Sinofarm, Sinovac and Sputnik V.

“Recently, we are in talks with Cuba to engage in the development of their candidate vaccine.”

Mkhize also said the government has promised to raise 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine. It is expected to arrive at the end of March. No information is provided regarding permission to use this vaccine.

Sahpra is a press release dated February 18th. Absent I received a document of the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamalaya Institute in Russia.

Sisungke Early Access Program

A batch of 80 000 J & J vaccines was approved by Sahpra under the Sisonke protocol with the aim of understanding the effects of high-dose vaccination.

The Sisungke Early Access Program began on February 17 (according to a media statement issued by the Ministry of Health on February 21, 2021).

read: SA administers first Covid-19 vaccine to president and healthcare workers (February 17th)

By February 21, 10,000 healthcare workers had been vaccinated with the J & J vaccine. It provides 57% protection against moderate to severe illness, 85% protection against severe illness, and 100% protection against death, based on evidence from clinical trials including: Participants “.

In a press release dated February 18, Sahpra approved a protocol amendment to the J & J Conduct Survey of Healthcare Professionals (HCWs) to include the President and Vice President. It greatly helps to promote vaccine intake and reduce vaccine hesitation. ”

President’s reaction to Sona debate

In response to the debate on Sona21, President Cyril Ramaphosa recognized South Africa’s ability to lead the world of scientists, research institutes, universities, institutions and public institutions.

Credits were given to South African scientists, engineers and manufacturers who were able to “design and manufacture personal protective equipment and thousands of medical ventilators within a few months.”

The president also acknowledged that scientists at the University of Kwazul Natal “worked with other laboratories to be at the forefront of genomic surveillance work that led to the identification of new Covid-19 mutants.” He added: “South African scientists and researchers from world-class institutions have been involved in managing vaccine trials in the country.”

Recognizing that pandemics could be more frequent, the president suggested that South Africa develop its scientific capabilities and “prepare for the future.”

Ramaphosa said he called on the Minister of Higher Education and Innovation to “bring together a team of scientists to begin the process of developing unique vaccines to address current and future pandemics.”

For the latest information on Covid-19, SA Coronavirus Web Page It is run by the Ministry of Health. This includes Mkhize’s speech to the debate on Sona21.

For the latest information on the approval of the Covid-19 vaccine, see Sahpra. website..

Detailed budget allocations for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine will be announced on Wednesday (February 24) in the 2021 National Budget.

Tracking the deployment of SA’s Covid-19 vaccine

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