South Africa is contemplating swapping or selling the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against coronavirus.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told a news conference on Wednesday that the country was considering to use a vaccine from Johnson & Johnson instead.
Data has shown that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant coronavirus variant known as 501Y.V2.
This means that even in people who’ve been vaccinated, the virus could still spread from person to person.
South Africa has one and half million doses of the AstraZeneca jab received from India which were nearing their expiry date according to health department deputy director-general Anban Pillay Pillay.
Mkhize revealed that the country’s scientists will continue to deliberate on the issue and the vaccine could be swapped before it expires. He said:
There are already some countries that are asking that we must sell it to them.
Our scientists will continue with further deliberations on the AstraZeneca vaccine used in South Africa and depending on their advice the vaccine will be swapped before the expiry date.