Minister for health in South Africa said the country would vaccinate medical workers with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, expected to arrive in the country this week.
The minister said, “Given the outcomes of the efficacy studies, the Department of Health will continue with the planned phase-one vaccination using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
The announcement came after the AstraZeneca vaccine was shown to be less effective against the new variant identified late last year in South Africa.
He added, “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been proven effective against the 501Y.V2 variant, and the necessary approval processes for use in South Africa are underway.”
A recent trial showed that the variant has effectively reduced the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine on mild to moderate infections.
He shared South Africa is also in discussions with vaccine manufacturers in China and Russia.