Sumary of African Bloc Drops Oxford COVID-19 Jab for US Rival Yet to See Mass Production:
- African Centres for Disease Control (CDC) director John Nkengasong announced on Thursday that the 55-member bloc’s health agency had cancelled orders of the AstraZeneca jab from licensed producer the Serum Institute of India (SII), and would now rely on US firm Johnson &.
- But he denied the decision was due to concerns over reports of blood clots in patients given the UK-developed vaccine..
- Last week Nkengasong and South African President Cyril Ramphosa said the AU’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) had signed a deal with J&J for 220 million doses of its vaccine, with an option for 180 million more..
- of its target of immunising 750 million Africans, or 60 per cent of the continent’s population, in order to achieve herd immunity..
- of the doses would be produced by J&J’s South African licensed producer Aspen Pharmacare at its facility in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province..
- But unlike the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, which are already in mass production and widespread use, the J&J jab has only been approved for use in a handful of countries including South Africa, where it is being given as part of a mass clinical trial among healthcare workers..
- That was after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize cancelled the roll-out of 1 million doses of the Oxford jab from SII on the basis of a small, non-peer-reviewed study that indicated it was less effective against the CODID-19 strains dominant in South Africa..
- That has prompted accusations that Ramaphosa was scratching the back of Aspen and its senior executive Stavros Nicolaou, who between them donated millions of rand to his 2017 campaign for leadership of the ruling African National Congress, paving his way to become president the next year…