South Africa has sold the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to other African Union (AU) countries, the health minister announced, after suspending its use last February.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed in a statement on March 21 that the vaccine sale had been concluded without indicating the prices or the AU members states that bought the doses.
“The first batch of vaccines that is being delivered with benefit nine member states. The balance will be collected this week to be delivered to five other countries,” Mkhize stated.
South Africa suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine last February after a study by the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg revealed that it was less effective against the more contagious South African variant of the virus.
South Africa had already received one million doses of the vaccine and was waiting for the delivery of 500,000 additional doses from the Serum Institute of India when the government imposed the suspension.
South Africa is currently administering the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, which it said was effective against the South African variant.
According to the health ministry, South Africa has administered a total of 182,983 vaccines.
Data from the health ministry also showed that South Africa has reported a total of 1,537,852 cases and 52,111 deaths.
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