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Sahpra registers J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine

Johnson & Johnson says its single-dose vaccine has been approved for use in SA. File photo.
Johnson & Johnson says its single-dose vaccine has been approved for use in SA. File photo.
Image: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) said on Thursday SA’s health regulator had registered its Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for deliveries to start in the second quarter.

The registration of J&J’s vaccine is a boost for the country worst affected by the pandemic on the continent in terms of recorded infections and deaths. SA is counting on J&J to supply 31 million doses of its vaccine.

J&J said the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) had “granted registration with conditions” for its single-dose vaccine.

Sahpra’s spokesperson confirmed J&J’s vaccine had been registered when called by Reuters. He said more details would follow in a statement.

SA’s vaccination campaign was dealt a blow in early February when it put on hold a plan to start inoculations with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. A small research study showed AstraZeneca’s shot offered minimal protection against mild to moderate Covid-19 caused by the dominant local coronavirus variant.

The government switched to using the J&J shot in a research study to start protecting front-line health-care workers. So far it has vaccinated roughly 260,000 out of 1.25 million health workers, according to health ministry data.

J&J aims to supply 2.8 million doses to SA in the second quarter, it said.

Sahpra told TimesLIVE it would soon issue a statement on its website.

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