SA says no to a free offer, but may now pay R680m for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

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Vials labeled Sputnik V coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters
Vials labeled Sputnik V coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

NEWS

When Russia wanted to donate 15 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to South Africa in February, our government declined because of uncertainty over the efficacy of this vaccine against the Beta variant of Sars-Cov-2, which was first identified in South Africa.

Now South Africa is considering buying 5 million doses of Sputnik V from the Russians for an estimated R680 million, while the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) is waiting for evidence that it is not dangerous for people with HIV/Aids.

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