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South Africa’s health regulator asked the government to lift the pause on administering the J&J Covid-19 vaccine provided certain conditions are met.
South African regulator recommends lifting J&J vaccine ban
By Felix Njini
(Bloomberg) – South Africa’s health regulator asked the government to lift the pause on administering Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine provided certain conditions are met.
“These conditions include, but are not limited to, strengthened screening and monitoring of participants who are at high risk of a blood clotting disorder,” the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority said in a statement.
South Africa halted J&J vaccines after health agencies on Tuesday called for their suspension in the US. The J&J shot is a key element to South Africa’s vaccination plan and has already been used to inoculate health workers, with no reported adverse effects. Drug maker Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. will manufacture the J&J vaccine in South Africa for wider use.
The government has been slow to roll out its vaccination programme, and only 292,623 healthcare workers had been inoculated with the J&J doses as of April 17. South Africa, which is the worst-affected country by the Coronavirus pandemic on the continent, lags behind emerging market peers in vaccinations.
(Updates with slow rollout in final paragraph).
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