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Covid-19: African Union explores J&J vax, drops buys from SII

Covid-19: African Union explores J&J vax, drops buys from SII

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: The African Union has dropped plans to buy the Covid-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India for its 55 member-states and is exploring options with Johnson & Johnson, media reported on Thursday.

John Nkengasong, who heads the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said the SII will still supply the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine to Africa through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, but the African Union would seek additional supplies from Johnson & Johnson.

His statement came a day after European and British medicine regulators said they had found possible links between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and reports of very rare cases of brain blood clots, but they reaffirmed its importance in protecting people.

Nkengasong said the possible link had nothing to do with the African Union’s decision. The bloc shifted its efforts to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, he said, citing the deal signed last week to secure up to 400 million doses beginning in the third quarter of this year.

“…It was just a clear understanding of how not to duplicate efforts with the SII so that we complement each other rather than duplicate efforts,” he added.

 

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