Serum Institute of India refunds South Africa for undelivered COVID-19 vaccines

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The Serum Institute of India has absolutely refunded South Africa for the 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which weren’t delivered to the nation after it determined to not use the vaccine as a result of it was not efficient in opposition to a brand new variant of the virus.

One million doses from the institute, which had already been delivered, have been offered on to different international locations within the African Union.

“Treasury has confirmed that the Serum Institute of India has fully refunded us for the remaining 500,000 doses that had not been delivered to South Africa and the money is already in our bank account,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize mentioned at a televised media briefing on Thursday.

“I want to clarify this quite clearly, as this now closes the matter of the AstraZeneca vaccine and also we close it without incurring any fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” he mentioned.

Mkhize mentioned that there was an enormous concern amongst South Africans that these vaccines would now be wasted.

“But we want to indicate that all of the AstraZeneca vaccines have been salvaged,” he mentioned.

“The one million doses that we have received have been sold to the African Union platform and have been distributed to many African countries, who have been able now to have access to these vaccines,” Mkhize mentioned.

The minister defined why different states in Africa might use the 500,000 doses of the vaccine, which have been rejected by South Africa.

“The distinction between us and a few of these international locations is that they really don’t have the identical variant as what we have now bought and subsequently in addition they don’t have proof of their international locations that the AstraZeneca could be an issue.

“So, in those countries we go by the WHO guidelines that said it could be used, even if there are other variants in other countries,” he mentioned.

Mkhize mentioned South Africa would proceed to help AstraZeneca’s efforts and would take care of them once more once they might present that they’d developed a vaccine with efficacy in opposition to the brand new variant in South Africa.

He additionally outlined plans for the vaccine rollout in South Africa from different suppliers.

“We have now secured 51 million doses of vaccines with the agreements which have been signed – 31 million from Johnson and Johnson, which is a one-dose vaccine; and 20 million from Pfizer, which is a two-dose vaccine.

“This means that we can now move forward with confidence as we finalise our plans for our mass rollout campaign, which is due to officially begin at the end of phase one on May 17,” he mentioned.

South Africa began the primary section by vaccinating its healthcare employees. The second section of six months will goal the aged, folks with comorbidities, and employees in important providers, with the remainder of the inhabitants following within the third section.

“If we didn’t have this debacle with the AstraZeneca vaccines, we would have been able to move faster, as we have indicated to the public,” Mkhize mentioned as he expressed hope that South Africa would obtain herd immunity in opposition to COVID-19 inside a yr.

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