EFF lambastes Sahpra for ‘refusing’ to administer other vaccines in SA after J&J 'moemish'
The EFF has slammed the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) for its alleged 'refusal' to allow the administration of the Sinovac and Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on Sunday that SA had experienced challenges with the Johnson & Johnson vaccines and that more than two million doses manufactured at the Gqeberha plant in the Eastern Cape would be discarded.
The party accused Sahpra of allegedly bowing to political pressure and influence. It claimed the “rejection” of the AstraZeneca vaccine was a clear demonstration that the body is not guided by science but by politics.
SA sold its one million batches of the Indian-manufactured vaccines to the AU in March after it was found to have limited efficacy against mild and moderate disease caused by the Covid-19 variant dominant in the country.
“Despite granting permission for its usage, the J&J [vaccine] approved by Sahpra is reported to have been contaminated and not safe for usage in many parts of the world and SA,” said the EFF.
During his address to the nation two weeks ago, Ramaphosa said there were ongoing discussions with other vaccine manufacturers, such as Sputnik V from Russia, including a process of getting approval from SA health authorities.
The EFF gave Sahpra seven days to approve the use of the Sputnik V and Sinovac vaccines. It said if the authority fails to act on its demands, the party will consider taking legal action.
“We take this action because it is now evident that the current SA government does not care about the lives of our people,” it said.