HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The decision comes after the US, temporarily suspended the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • Till now, South Africa has not reported any cases of blood clots after vaccinating its citizens with Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize emphasized that the decision would not result in the complete withdrawal of the J&J vaccine.

After witnessing six cases of blood clotting, the Food and Drug Administration of the US has temporarily suspended the distribution of
Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Immediately after, South Africa has also prohibited the vaccine in the nation.

Addressing the media, Zweli Mkhize, the Health Minister of South Africa mentioned that he conducted a meeting with the nation’s scientists. In the meeting, they discussed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine where they decided to stop the use of the vaccine. “We cannot take the decision made by the FDA lightly. Based on their advice, we have determined to voluntarily suspend our rollout until the causal relationship between the development of clots and the J&J vaccine is sufficiently interrogated,” Zweli Mkhize said.

Adding to it, he highlighted that the decision would not result in the complete withdrawal of the J&J vaccine from the vaccination armament. “Our scientists are confident that the FDA decision is on a precautionary basis,” he added. Reportedly, there have been no reports of a blood clot after receiving the vaccine in South Africa. Till now, nearly 2,89,787 healthcare workers have been inoculated in South Africa.

Speaking of the type of blood clot, it is a type of brain blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis accompanied by low levels of blood platelets in women. “We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the CDC and the FDA said.

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