South African health minister has revealed that the country will not waste the remaining doses of AstraZeneca a Covid-19 vaccine which has been uneffective and low efficacy in preventing mild or moderate infections by the new variant now dominant in the country.
A new study on the efficacy of the vaccine was released less than a week after the country received a shipment of 1 million doses from India.
While speaking during a media breifing on Wednesday morning, Dr Mkhize said one of the options could be selling or swopping the vaccine with another country.
“On the one hand our scientists will continue with further deliberations of the AstraZeneca vaccine use in South Africa and depending on the advice the vaccine will be swapped before the expiry date.
“By exchanging the unused vaccines before the expiry date the Department of Health will make sure that the vaccines will not become fruitful and wasteful expenditure.
“There are other countries who have asked us to sell it to them. All we can do is to the public we will not waste the money, we will either swap the vaccine and get a different vaccine and get a fresh batch if we will be using it. At the moment we will wait for the experts to give us some advice.”
He said the idea of swapping the vaccine to make sure that the money spent on the purchase of the vaccine will not be a waste since the expiration date of the vaccine will be by April.
He said the expiration was discovered not by chance but a clear and deliberate discovery made by the department’s quality control protocols.