SA’s medicines regulator expects the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will approve the release of Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) Covid-19 vaccines later this week, clearing the way for the government to rapidly scale up its mass inoculation drive.

Emergent was forced to discard 15-m doses of J&J vaccines after staff accidentally contaminated them with components from another vaccine made at the site.

Chinese vaccine manufacturer Sinovac’s local representative Numolox said the World Health Organisation’s announcement on Tuesday that it had approved its coronavirus shot for emergency-use listing was expected to expedite approval in SA. Numolox has applied to Sahpra for emergency-use authorisation and full market registration for the shot, branded CoronaVac.

Health director-general Sandile Buthelezi said that SA expected to have the FDA’s decision by Friday, and would then quickly move to get J&J’s shot to sites.


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