South Africa secures 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

South Africa secures 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The EMA already has the drug-makers' phase 3 data as part of a rolling review, but the vaccine producers are yet to hand a formal submission for conditional marketing authorization from the European Union regulator.

Deputy Executive Director, Noel Wathion, last week said that approval of AstraZeneca's vaccine this month looked highly improbable because the company had yet to submit sufficient information.

The US is the worst-affected country with 365 321 deaths, followed by Brazil with 200 498, India with 150 570 and Mexico with 131 031.

Kenya, a far poorer country than South Africa, expects to get vaccine deliveries at the end of January or next month, Nairobi's Standard newspaper reported on Sunday, citing the country's health secretary.

A more contagious coronavirus variant, first found on South Africa's east coast late a year ago, is driving a second wave of infections, pushing its total to 1.15 million, or about a third of the continent's cases.

Some of South Africa's hospitals are already reporting that they are at capacity. The rapid spread of the disease in recent weeks has been driven by a new, more infectious variant of the virus, according to medical experts. "The new cases on the seven day average are also higher than what we experienced before".

Earlier this week, he said South Africa expects to get vaccines to inoculate an estimated 6 million people, or 10% of the population, from the worldwide COVAX initiative starting in April.

He says that priority will be given to the more than one million health workers in both the private and the public sectors. South Africa's health products regulator is using a so-called rolling review, which allows it to assess vaccine data as it becomes available during the trials to assess J&J's shot.

Among the the 10 recipients was Ellen Prosser, 100, who said getting the vaccine was "easy".

O'Brien said the facility "has access to over two billion doses of vaccine" and will start to deliver those vaccines by mid-February.

"That's how countries in Africa and South Asia, and other countries around the world of these 92 that are less able to afford vaccines, are actually going to get vaccine", she said.

Duterte said the local government is targeting to inoculate 1.2 million Dabawenyos to achieve herd immunity.

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