April 02, 2021
File – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize | Photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
By IOL News
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Friday that 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been sold to 18 countries in Africa.
This followed a decision by South Africa to stop the use of AstraZeneca after it was found it was not effective against the new variant.
A decision led to the country procuring the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and, to date, more than 269 000 healthcare workers have been inoculated in the clinical trials.
“The disposal of the vaccines has ensured a win-win solution for all. Through the sale, South Africa will not incur fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” said Mkhize.
“Through the coordinated efforts of this task team, we are pleased to confirm that after concluding the sale of 1 million AstraZeneca doses to the AU, the first batch of these doses have been dispatched from South Africa.
’’Although it was a difficult decision for us to halt the rollout of AstraZeneca, due to the challenges posed by the 501Y.V2 variant, it is gratifying to know that 18 member states will benefit from the AU allocation of the AstraZeneca acquisition from South Africa.”
The countries that will receive the doses include Egypt, Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Togo, Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Comoros, South Sudan and the Seychelles.