By: Natasha Archary
South Africans are losing confidence in government’s ability to manage the COVID-19 pandemic after the rollout plans for the AstraZeneca virus were put on hold.
Kaya Breakfast opened discussion with Professor Helen Rees, South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, on the possible options for the country.
What we know about AstraZeneca
The vaccine has proven ineffective against mild and moderate cases in South Africa against the B.1.351 or 501.V2 strain.
The World Health Organisation has cautioned against dismissing the vaccine prematurely. With insufficient evidence, the vaccine has hit many stumbling blocks in other parts of the world too.
With many UK countries refusing to authorise the vaccination of its most vulnerable age group – over 65s.
Weighing the options
Professor Rees weighed in on whether a proposed vaccine switch from AstraZeneca to either the Johnson & Johnson single dose or the Pfizer vaccine would be a better option for South Africa.
Chairperson of government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim said that innoculations will take place with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Pushing back the immunisation plan a few days, and placing all hope on the second vaccine which is said to be more effective against the South African strain of the virus.