A vial of the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen, as vaccinations resume after a brief pause in their use over concern for possible connection to blood clots, in Turin, Italy, March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

South Africa has indicated that it may resume inoculations against coronavirus illness  (Covid-19) utilizing  the AstraZeneca vaccine which the nation  had desertaed  in the wake of reduced efficacy against Beta variant. South African is at moment  using Pfizer-BioNTech and single-shot Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines.

Newly appointed South African health minister Joe Phaahla told a press briefing the government was planning to start using different vaccines, together with  Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccine.

Phaahla said,”It was approved   also that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has now been shown to be effective against the Delta variant, that we should also look at bringing it back into use,” .

 The South African authorities  halted the use of Covishield, a model of AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India , after a study represent the vaccine provided minimal protection against mild to average fever  caused by the Beta variant  South Africa sold the Covishied doses it had purchased from SII to African Union.

The South African health minister’s remark suggests the country may consider using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine again, given its high level of effectiveness against the Delta variant which is swiftly becoming the dominant strain across the world. A recent study of real-world data from Canada showed one dose of AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria helped reduce hospitalisations or deaths by 87%.

Gray told a media briefing that  Johanson & Johanson   vaccine , which is being used in the national vaccine programme alongside Pfizer’s, offered 67% efficacy against infection when the Beta variant dominates and about 71% when the Delta variant dominates.

As Johnson & Johnson has utilized  for emergency use approval in India for its single-shot Covid-19 vaccine, its efficacy against delta  variants announced by South Africa is encouraging.

 Glenda Gray, the joint lead investigator of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trial in South Africa, said that the single-shot vaccine offers protection against severe disease and death.


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