The Medical Research Council (MRC) has applied to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to conduct a research study which the government hopes will speed up access to Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine, after it paused its planned rollout of AtstraZeneca’s shots this week, reported Business Day (10 February)

J&J’s single-dose vaccine has yet to be registered by any regulatory authority for general use

Although the government has secured 9-m doses of J&J shots and is in talks for another 20-m, it cannot import or administer these supplies until the vaccine has been approved by regulators. J&J’s shot has been proved safe and effective and has the potential to save healthcare workers’ lives, said MRC president Glenda Gray, who will be one of the co-investigators on the study.

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