JOHANNESBURG, 22 March 2021 – The South African government has sold one million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to other African countries.
South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, confirmed the information Monday.
The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine was sold via the African Union to 14 African countries, the health minister told reporters, without naming the countries.
Only two African countries – the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon – have joined dozens of Western countries in suspending vaccinations using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns that it caused blood blots.
The World Health Organization has encouraged countries to continue administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, contending that even concerns over blood clots do not outweigh the benefits of preventing COVID-19 infection.
Last month, South Africa cancelled plans it had to roll out the vaccine, citing a study which found that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had a “minimal” effect against the country’s new variant of COVID-19.
Health workers across South Africa are currently being inoculated using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
South Africa has already received nine million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As of Monday, South Africa had recorded 1.54 million cases of COVID-19 with 52,111 deaths so far – the most by any African country and nearly half the deaths continent-wide.
Africa had confirmed 4.1 million COVID-19 cases with 109,893 fatalities, according to the most updated data published Monday by Africa Centers for Disease Control.