Health Minister Zweli Mkhize [Photo: EyeWitness News]
South Africa has halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced the suspension of the jab following possible cases of blood clotting.
“We have determined to voluntarily suspend our rollout until the causal relationship between the development of clots and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is sufficiently interrogated,” said Mkhize.
Mkhize further said, the suspension will not last long as the Health Ministry expects to continue the COVID vaccination drive.
He however noted that, in case the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine is completely halted, the country will bring on board the Pfizer-Biontech Vaccine, “In the extremely unlikely event that Johnson and Johnson rollout is completely halted, we will not have any hindrance to proceed with phase two of the rollout with Pfizer.”
The country’s ministry of health has defended this move saying that the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation, to temporarily pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine program in the United States of America should not be taken lightly.
The vaccine is the second jab to be suspended in South Africa.
This is after the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s jab was halted for showing less protection against a new Covid-19 variant – SARS-CoV-2.
As of 13th of April, South Africa’s cumulative number of COVID-19 cases is at 1, 559 960, with the total number of fatalities at 53,423.