Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announces SA suspends rollout of J&J Covid-19 vaccine
During a live TV broadcast on Tuesday, April 13, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that SA will be suspending the rollout of the J&J Covid-19 vaccine/
The decision was taken after discussions between the SA Medical Research Council, the Health Minister, and researchers about whether to pause administering the shots until there is greater clarity on the possible link between the vaccine and the blood-clotting events reported in the US and Europe.
The US Food and Drug Agency recommended that the J&J’s vaccine rollout should be suspended out of an “abundance of caution” after six reported cases of a severe type of blood clot in people who had received the shot, reported BusinessLIVE (13 April 2021). The European Medicines Agency is also reviewing reports of blood clots, after four cases were recorded.
SA is administering J&J’s vaccine in the Sisonke implementation study that was designed to provide the shot to health workers, pending licensure. As of Monday, the Sisonke study had administered 289 787 doses of the vaccine.