South African Drug Regulator Recommends Resuming J&J Vaccine Rollout

JOHANNESBURG (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th April, 2021) South Africa's health watchdog SAPHRA has recommended resuming the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, days after it was paused over blot clotting concerns.

South Africa stopped administering the US-made vaccine after the US food and Drug Administration said that six women aged 18 to 48 had developed a rare and severe type of blood clots. One of them died.

"Based on their review of the available data, SAHPRA has recommended that the pause in the Sisonke study be lifted, provided that specific conditions are met," a statement read.

It recommended informing people about possible adverse effects prior to the vaccination and monitoring those injected with the J&J shot if they are deemed at high risk of a blood clotting disorder.

SAHPRA chairperson Helen Rees argued that the risk of developing blood clotting complications was small and protecting yourself against COVID-19 was advisable.

"Nobody wants to get COVID-19. The sooner we can vaccinate people the better. We want to build public confidence and hope that next week we will get response from the Research Ethics Committee," she said.

Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said on Tuesday that more than 289,000 health care workers in South Africa had received a J&J shot. The country has amassed 30 million J&J doses on top of 30 million Pfizer doses.