Aspen to release fresh J&J vaccines within one week
Pharmaceutical firm Aspen Pharmacare will release a fresh batch of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccines within a week to bolster the country's vaccination drive, it said on Monday.
It said the company had further doses of J&J vaccines under production that would be available to the government in July.
South Africa's vaccination drive faced a set back on Sunday when its drugs regulator said as many as 2 million doses of J&J vaccines that Aspen had ready for release from its local plant could not be used, after a US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) notice.
These doses were to have been used to start vaccinating teachers in South Africa, who are not now covered under phase 2 of a vaccination drive using Pfizer's two-dose vaccine.
South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said on Sunday that approximately 300,000 doses that had been cleared by the USFDA would soon be shipped to South Africa, even as the two million doses would be discarded.
"Within days, Johnson & Johnson will provide 300 000 doses of the vaccine for South African teachers," Aspen said in a statement.