South Africa Temporarily Suspends Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Rollout. In February 2020, the first batch of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived in South Africa. The government gave assurance that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved by South African Health Products Authority. The vaccine has already been administered to over 290,000 health workers in South Africa. Two months later, the roll out of the vaccine has been put on hold.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suspended the use of the vaccination pending a review of a possible causal link with a rare type of blood clot in the brain that was reported in six women in the US coupled with low levels of platelets. Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize has thus announced on Tuesday that eve here at home, the roll out of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be temporarily put on hold. South Africa has not had any reports of clots that have formed after vaccination, so the suspension of the roll out is a precautionary measure.
“We have noted the decision taken by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States of America to advise the temporary suspension of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine roll-out in the US…..We therefore urge South Africans to be supportive of our experts and scientists as they work under enormous pressure to give us answers on this worrying development so that we may proceed safely with the global vaccination programme,” Mkhize said.
This is not the first time the government put a halt on the roll out of Covid-19 vaccinate. The first vaccine to hit the shores of South Africa, was the AstraZeneca Vaccine. Unfortunately it was never used because, much of the antibody induced by the vaccine was not actually active against the variant circulating in South Africa. Also, the AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived in SA was due to expire in April, which means the rollout wasn’t going to be successful.
As of April 13th, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded was 1 559 960. The total number of deaths stood at 53 423, ad the total number of recoveries is 1 485 315. The total number of vaccines administered stands at 292 623.