HOHANNESBURG (AP) – South Africa has left the South African country without any shots as it battles an aggressive version of the coronavirus due to a rare transfusion of rare blood tissue.
South Africa has more than 1.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, including at least 53,000 deaths, which is more than 30% of the confirmed cases in 54 African countries. So far, it has vaccinated only 290.00 health workers, all with J&J vaccines.
South Africa plans to launch large-scale vaccinations next month, depending on the delivery of millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson և Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The government says it expects to vaccinate 40 million of the nation’s 60 million people by February 2022.
The health minister said South Africa had no reports of blood clots among vaccine recipients. Some health experts criticized South Africa’s move to lag behind the United States at such a critical juncture.
“I expected the South African government not to worry about the US results, I expected there to be no disruption,” Moza Moshabela, a professor of public health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, told the Associated Press. “Johnson & Johnson is currently our only (vaccine) version. I really did not expect that we would have to stop. “
He said it was likely that South African health officials would soon be able to resume the use of J&J vaccines, although the disruptions could contribute to vaccine ambiguity.
National Health ակից Allied workers, however, welcomed the pause to ensure J & J’s products were safe, said union spokesman Khaya Xa Aba.
This is not the first major change in South Africa’s vaccination strategy. In February, the country canceled its plans to give the AstraZeneca vaccine to healthcare workers because a preliminary test showed that it provided minimal protection against mild to moderate COVID-19 prevalence in South Africa.
It was then that South Africa quickly focused on using the J&J vaccine. The country has already participated in the international clinical trial of the vaccine without any problems. The vaccine has been shown to work well against the prevailing version in South Africa.
The country has ordered 30 million doses of son onson և John onson vaccines. South Africa also ordered a total of 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The J&J vaccine is being given to 1.2 million South African health workers as a large-scale research study, as the vaccine has not yet been approved for general use in South Africa.
Rashika Alberlito, administrator of the intensive care unit at Kwazulu-Natal Private Hospital, was vaccinated with the J&J vaccine last month. He is now extremely worried. He was hospitalized for about two weeks in 2015 due to a blood clot in one of his lungs. Alberlito continues to use blood-thinning drugs, and rumors of a possible blood clot in the J&J vaccine have been circulating.
“I asked about the safety of the vaccine, given my condition, and I was convinced it was safe,” Albertito told The Associated Press. “Therefore, I was very shocked and worried to hear the minister’s statement, but I hope that the test results will not confirm any causal link between the blood tissue and the vaccine.”
Like Alberlito, many South Africans hope the son onson և oh john onson vaccines will be safe.
Confirming the vaccine’s safety capability, Professor Moshabela said it was urgent that South Africa vaccinate millions of people as soon as possible. He hopes that the suspension of the J&J vaccine will not last long.
“At the same time, you will have a lot of people catching AIDS, and some of them will die before you can delay the spread of (vaccines),” Moshabela said.
Potential problems with the J&J vaccine could affect the whole of Africa, as the African Union recently secured orders for 220 million doses of the vaccine across the continent.
“The last thing we want is to have any cloud of doubt in Africa, around any vaccine in the world. “It simply reinforces the belief that vaccines are not safe on the African continent or in the world,” said Dr. John on Nkengasong, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a webinar on Wednesday.
Follow AP epidemic coverage https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine և https://apnews.com/Und UndingingtheOutbreak