New Delhi: A day after it was reported that South Africa will be returning 1 million AstraZeneca vaccines back to Serum Institute of India, the country’s health minister has refuted the news.
“I would like to clarify a few media reports that said we have returned the vaccines to India. We have not returned the AstraZeneca vaccines to India,” South Africa’s Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize was quoted as saying by WION.
The country is going to share the vaccines with other African nations in the African Union (AU), a Reuters report said.
Mkhize added, “The AstraZeneca doses we purchased have been offered to the African Union platform, of which we are part of, and the AU will distribute to those countries who have already expressed interest in acquiring the stock.”
“I also wish to once again put it on record that the vaccines have not expired and that the expiry date of April was established through our quality control processes – a wrong impression was created that the vaccines have expired – this is simply not true,” he clarified.
South Africa has stopped the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after it found that it offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the South African variant of COVID-19. It will be administering Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines from Wednesday.