South Africa rejects 2 million J&J vaccines due to USFDA decision

The deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa has been delayed further after officials opted to throw out at least 2 million Johnson & Johnson shots. 

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority said in a statement that the vaccines, which were from a batch of potentially tainted dosages, would not be issued. 

This is the latest setback in South Africa’s vaccination rollout, which has reached just over 1% of the country’s 60 million people so far.

The vaccinations were judged to be unfit for use by the US Food and Drug Administration due to suspected contamination of their ingredients at a Baltimore company. 

The J&J vaccine was anxiously expected at South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare manufacturing factory in the eastern city of Gqeberha, then known as Port Elizabeth, to give the country’s immunization effort a much-needed boost. 

The plant has a contract with Johnson & Johnson to manufacture the vaccine using huge batches of Johnson & Johnson’s core ingredients. “Fill and finish is the technique by which the South African plant combines the components and places them in vials.

The J&J vaccine factory in South Africa has the potential to generate around 200 million doses per year and has previously produced 2 million. 

However, because they were made using materials from the Baltimore plant, they cannot be utilized, according to the FDA and South African health officials. 

They were expected to be used to inoculate health care workers and patients aged 60 and up, according to health officials. 

Only 300,000 doses of the J&J vaccine, which has been cleared by the FDA, will be sent to South Africa. South Africans, on the other hand, were outraged by the paucity of immunizations.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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