By Kaya 959 News
Health experts are calling on South Africans to remain calm and give government some time to figure out the next move when it comes to the COVID 19 vaccine saga.
Medical expert, Dr Aslam Dasoo, says the coronavirus pandemic is a dynamic one because the virus mutates while vaccines are being produced.
He made the comments following a public outcry over the way government handled the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The vaccine arrived in the country earlier this month to much fanfare.
Concerns over AstraZeneca vaccine
But the excitement quickly died down after the health department confirmed that the vaccine will expire earlier than expected, meaning it would not be able to be administrated as planned.
A trial conducted by Wits University also found that the vaccine offered minimal protection against mild to moderate covid-19 caused by the new variant.
As a result, the vaccine rollout has been suspended while officials get the clinical efficacy information needed.
No need for panic over vaccine program
Despite the latest developments, Dr Dasoo told Kaya 959 he believes the country’s vaccine program is still on track.
“We were able to substitute the AstraZeneca vaccine for the JJ&J [Johnson and Johnson] vaccine, which should arrive shortly. There is absolutely no reason for anxiety and panic.
“The vaccination program seems still be on track and healthcare workers will start receiving the J&J vaccine shortly – probably at the time they were supposed to start the AstraZeneca vaccine. Because the virus mutates, all the vaccines are vulnerable not just the JJ&J and AstraZeneca ones.”
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the Johnson and Johnson vaccines could arrive as early as this week.
South Africa has recorded 1 376 news cases of COVID-19 in the last 24-hour cycle.
This brings the national tally to 1, 477, 511 confirmed cases since the star of the pandemic.