China's Sinovac offers SA 5-million vaccine doses 'within weeks'
China's coronavirus vaccine manufacturer Sinovac Biotech is able to supply South Africa with 5 million doses of its CoronaVac vaccine.
It's reported that according to Sinovac's local partner Numolux, the shots could be received within a matter of weeks.
CoronaVac is yet to be approved for use by the South African Health Products Authority (Sahpra).
But at the same time, the promised delivery of vaccines by manufacturers Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson is still a long way away.
Sinovac's CoronaVac has been described as a more traditional vaccine method, compared to for instance the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which are mRNA vaccines.
Like the AstraZeneca vaccine, CoronaVac can be stored at normal fridge temperature.
Bruce Whitfield interviews Sahpra chairperson, Professor Helen Rees.
She says South Africa, like governments around the world, is asking crucial questions about any vaccine that becomes available to it.
Certainly, we need to look at every vaccine that is in the advanced stage of development and evaluate it. If we find it to be safe and effective from a regulatory point of view, we should welcome it.Prof. Helen Rees, Chair - South African Health Products Authority
Phase 3 trials for CoronaVac have been conducted in four countries, she notes.
Overall efficacy came in at just over 50%, rising to 65% for severe disease.
This jumped to about 90% for hospitalisation and very severe disease.
Speed is of the essence, but we have to be as sure as we possibly can, in the context of limited data for all of these vaccines, that this vaccine is going to work in our setting, with our variant.Prof. Helen Rees, Chair - South African Health Products Authority
That's why we're asking all the companies to produce some data, and also pointing them in the direction of our laboratories in South Africa who can assist them in creating some of that data.Prof. Helen Rees, Chair - South African Health Products Authority
For more detail, listen to the conversation below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : China's Sinovac offers SA 5-million vaccine doses 'within weeks'
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