Serum Institute of India refunds South Africa for undelivered COVID-19 vaccines

PTI | Johannesburg | Updated: 09-04-2021 05:29 IST | Created: 09-04-2021 05:29 IST
Serum Institute of India refunds South Africa for undelivered COVID-19 vaccines

The Serum Institute of India has fully refunded South Africa for the 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which were not delivered to the country after it decided not to use the vaccine because it was not effective against a new variant of the virus.

A million doses from the institute, which had already been delivered, have been sold on to other countries in the African Union.

''Treasury has confirmed that the Serum Institute of India has fully refunded us for the remaining 500,000 doses that had not been delivered to South Africa and the money is already in our bank account,'' Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said at a televised media briefing on Thursday.

''I want to clarify this quite clearly, as this now closes the matter of the AstraZeneca vaccine and also we close it without incurring any fruitless and wasteful expenditure,'' he said.

Mkhize said that there was a huge concern among South Africans that these vaccines would now be wasted.

''But we want to indicate that all of the AstraZeneca vaccines have been salvaged,'' he said.

''The one million doses that we have received have been sold to the African Union platform and have been distributed to many African countries, who have been able now to have access to these vaccines,'' Mkhize said.

The minister explained why other states in Africa could use the 500,000 doses of the vaccine, which were rejected by South Africa.

''The difference between us and some of these countries is that they actually don't have the same variant as what we have got and therefore they also don't have evidence in their countries that the AstraZeneca would be a problem.

''So, in those countries we go by the WHO guidelines that said it could be used, even if there are other variants in other countries,'' he said.

Mkhize said South Africa would continue to support AstraZeneca's efforts and would deal with them again when they could show that they had developed a vaccine with efficacy against the new variant in South Africa.

He also outlined plans for the vaccine rollout in South Africa from other suppliers.

''We have now secured 51 million doses of vaccines with the agreements that have been signed - 31 million from Johnson and Johnson, which is a one-dose vaccine; and 20 million from Pfizer, which is a two-dose vaccine.

''This means that we can now move forward with confidence as we finalise our plans for our mass rollout campaign, which is due to officially begin at the end of phase one on May 17,'' he said.

South Africa started the first phase by vaccinating its healthcare workers. The second phase of six months will target the elderly, people with comorbidities, and workers in essential services, with the rest of the population following in the third phase.

''If we didn't have this debacle with the AstraZeneca vaccines, we would have been able to move faster, as we have indicated to the public,'' Mkhize said as he expressed hope that South Africa would achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 within a year.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...


Latest News

Priyanka Gandhi urges people to follow COVID-19 precautions amid rapid surge in infections

As the COVID-19 situation in India continues to worsen, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter with an appeal to netizens to follow all necessary precautions during such unprecedented times. Dear countrymen, these ...

Kremlin says Putin to decide on counter sanctions against Washington

The Kremlin said on Friday that Moscow and Washington did not share the same vision of creating mutually beneficial ties and that President Vladimir Putin would decide what counter sanctions to hit Washington with. The Kremlin was speaking ...

Jennifer Lopez still has A-Rod's engagement ring in her possession

American stars Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez may have broken up, but her possession of the engagement ring may prove to be a binding source between them. While as per the traditions, when a couple breaks up before hitting the alter, the...

Rajasthan: Irked over repeated beating, minor boy kills alcoholic father with axe

A 16-year-old boy allegedly killed his alcoholic father with an axe while he was asleep early on Friday in Rajasthans Kota district, police said.Around 3.30 am, the boy took an axe from the house and attacked his father multiple times, resu...

Give Feedback