ZIMBABWE’S medicines regulator the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) approved the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has refusing the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility.
MCAZ has authorised its use in Zimbabwe with effect from July 25, 2021.
“MCAZ reviewed the technical documentation and clinical studies conducted and issued Emergency Use Authorisation for Ministry of Health and Child Care to consider adding to the vaccines for use in Zimbabwe.
“This EUA is subject to a number of considerations which include ensuring there is adequate cold storage capacity to store the vaccines and also ensuring there is robust side effect monitoring in place to monitor for potential side effects.
“MOHCC will then decide whether to deploy the vaccines in Zimbabwe or not, our responsibility is to ensure that we conduct the risk-benefit analysis prior to issuance of the EUA,” said MCAZ in a statement.
This authorisation comes when Aspen Pharmaceuticals in South Africa released its first batch of J&J vaccines. South Africa.
“Through this agreement, Aspen will be delivering over 17 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses to South Africa and other African countries over the next three months, commencing in late July,” said SA President Cyril Ramaphosa
He also said, “Initial stock running into millions of doses will be released in both South Africa and other African countries from July.”
He noted that they are negotiating that in time the active ingredient be produced in South Africa, for a fully-owned African vaccine manufactured in a number of countries on the continent.
“We welcome the announcement by President Joe Biden that the United States is donating 15 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to African countries through the COVAX facility.
“These developments, together with our current agreements with manufacturers, means that South Africa should have a pipeline of vaccine supplies sufficient to meet our vaccination target.
“At the same time, we are working to expand the range of vaccines being used in the country,” he said.
Ramaphosa urged African countries to use this vaccine.
“As part of the effort to strengthen health security on the continent, there is a commitment by Johnson & Johnson to adapt the current arrangement so that we can produce the vaccine in South Africa under license rather than under contract, resulting in our country and the continent having control over the vaccines,” he said. “Johnson and Johnson as we know requires a single dose which is quite appropriate for many parts of our country and indeed our continent because of the distance our people have to travel. Its best that they travel once and just get the one jab.”