Thursday, 10 June 2021

Cape Town: Cabinet has welcomed the validation of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This, Cabinet said, will enable the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to expeditiously consider the application of Sinovac for emergency use in South Africa.

Last week, WHO validated the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving countries, funders, procuring agencies and communities the assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing.

The vaccine is produced by the Beijing-based pharmaceutical company, Sinovac.

Briefing media on Thursday following Cabinet’s meeting this week, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said Cabinet welcomed progress made in the COVID-19 vaccination roll out.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Wednesday said 1 524 589 people have been vaccinated in South Africa, with 1 043 278 having received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“In addition, over three million South Africans have registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), which is a cause for celebration in our concerted fight against the spread of the virus,” Ntshavheni said.

She appealed to more South Africans to register, and to help the elderly to register for vaccination.

With winter setting in and the third wave having gripped four of SA’s provinces, Ntshavheni stressed the need to vaccinate .

“The partnership with the private sector in vaccination, and the overall COVID-19 programme, strengthens our nation’s efforts to ensure that lifesaving vaccines and the message of safety measures against COVID-19 reaches more people.” Ntshavheni said.

Cabinet has also reminded people to remain vigilant and adhere to restrictions under Level 2 of the national lockdown.