South Africa Skips National Regulatory Approval to Secure Covid-19 Vaccines - (The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)

  • South Africa will start rolling out COVID-19 vaccines without requiring local regulatory approval, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

  • The health ministry said the country will in January receive one million doses of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca from the Serum Institute of India.

  • A senior health-ministry official noted recently that no vaccine maker had filed the final paperwork for approval with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

  • On Thursday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize noted that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had already been approved in several countries, "as part of expediting the regulatory process, SAHPRA is applying reliance on that regulatory work."

  • Anban Pillay, a deputy director at the ministry, noted that Moderna remained in productive talks with South Africa on supplying its vaccine to the country and when it could do so.

  • Pillay added that expected Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson to complete their applications for registration with SAHPRA by the end of the month.

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