Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africa will give its AstraZeneca doses to the African Union after ditching the jab due to efficacy concerns.

Mkhize’s statement comes after false reports that South Africa’s government would be returning the one million Astrazaneca doses to the Serum Institute of India.

South Africa’s vaccine rollout was briefly suspended earlier this month after a study found that the AstraZeneca vaccine was ineffective against mild and moderate illness caused by a variant found in South Africa.

But the rollout strategy is now back on track after the first batch of the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine arrived last night.

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The first 80,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine will be dispatched to 17 sites across the country as part of an implementation study starting on Wednesday.

Mkhize told Parliament on Tuesday that health authorities have secured a total of nine million doses of the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

“An additional 500,000 doses are expected to arrive over the next four weeks, supplemented by another 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that is expected to be received at the end of March 2021”, Mkhize announced during the Sona debate.

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