Covid-19: Current vaccination is an expanded trial study, says Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

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Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: GCIS
Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: GCIS
  • The recent vaccination of health workers is an expanded trial study.
  • The government has denied the process was a full vaccination rollout.
  • It is responsible for administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The government has maintained the recent vaccination of health workers across the country is an expanded trial study.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told the media the government had never claimed the vaccination process underway was a full rollout.

Ntshavheni and Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla was accompanying Deputy President David Mabuza on a visit to the Biovac Institute in Midrand.

The facility is used to store and distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"Government has never claimed it is a full rollout. We have said it is an expanded trial study that is being done. That is why it is health workers participating in that study," said Ntshavheni.

She added the government was responsible for administering the vaccine, saying the Pfizer vaccine would have to go through the necessary regulatory authorisation via the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

"We can't talk about a [Pfizer] vaccine that we are not yet administering as a country. We will not vaccinate until full authorisation is done by SAHPRA. We have a work stream that [deals] with anti-corruption and risk management.

"We are now focusing on control and prevention before dealing with it in a responding or reactive manner. We are being proactive. Until all papers have been filed, we are aware that the United States has given an emergency OK for its [Johnson & Johnson] rollout and papers have been submitted in this country."

Ntshavheni said SAPHRA and the US Food and Drug Administration have reached agreements to ensure that whatever was approved in the US could be used in South Africa to fast-track that process.

"… there is no worry about that. I don't know why there should have been criticism because there is no need for such," she added.


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