'Give India vaccine to healthy people'

Professor says dumping suspended AstraZeneca will be wasteful

09 February 2021 - 11:01 By Lindile Sifile
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine rollout has been put on hold. File photo.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine rollout has been put on hold. File photo.
Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Pool via REUTERS

Don't throw away the one million AstraZeneca jabs. Give them to healthier people.

This is what experts have advised the government to do with the more than a million vaccines that arrived in the country last week after they were found not to offer protection against mild to moderate disease caused by the dominant Covid-19 variant in SA.

Last week, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine from India arrived in SA amid renewed hope in the fight against Covid-19.

But professor of vaccinology at Wits University Shabir Madhi said a vaccine trial by his team showed that up until the end of October, the vaccine presented potential and people who took a dose were 75% less likely to be infected.

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Minister of health Zweli Mkhize hosted a public briefing on February 10 2021 to address the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine's lack of effectiveness against the 501Y.V2 strand of Covid-19. The minister also gave a revised plan of the country's vaccine rollout.


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