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COVID–19, South Africa Approves AstraZeneca Vaccine: One Million Doses in February

South African Health products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA),announced that South Africa has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 for emergency use and it will continue to examine requests for Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson. Local Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, said the first million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine should arrive in South Africa on February 1.

Mkhize said that upon arrival in South Africa, the vaccines will be tested for a minimum of 10 days to ensure the quality of the product.

The vaccines will be produced by the Serum Institute of India, and a total of 1.5 million doses will be sent to South Africa to be administered to 1.25 million healthcare workers in the country.

South Africa has been fighting a second very aggressive wave of COVID-19 caused by a new strain of the virus, known as 501Y.V2, that was discovered for the first time in November. With over 1.4 million confirmed cases and 41,000 deaths to date, South Africa has registered more infections and deaths than any other African country.

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