- First batch was supposed to hit the soil of this this land around the end of the month.
- Minister of Health disclosed that the country has resolved to immediately stop procuring the vaccine.
Mbabane: Considering the fact that the country has halted buying Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and there is no clear directive to which vaccine will then be considered and when it will reach Eswatini.
The halting of the rollout for the AstraZeneca vaccine, comes after the latest findings by South African researchers about the strength of the AstraZeneca vaccines. The research showed that the Indian manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was not effective to the new variant of COVID-19 in that country.
Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi, speaking on Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Service news bulletin on Tuesday, disclosed that the country has resolved to immediately stop procuring the vaccine. First batch was supposed to hit the soil of this this land around the end of the month.
Nkosi had earlier on disclosed that the Kingdom of Eswatini is a participant of the COVAX Facility through which the country was expecting to receive 20% of the population’s vaccine doses. She said about 108 000 indicative doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected in the Kingdom by mid/late February.
The minister said the decision was informed by the fact that there were huge possibilities that the country might have the South African COVID-19 variant of which continuing with the vaccine would be pointless. She stated that they contacted COVAX to suspend the procurement of the AstraZeneca vaccine and consider other vaccines that may be competent to deal with the South African variant.
She stated that they contacted COVAX to suspend the procurement of the AstraZeneca vaccine and consider other vaccines that may be competent to deal with the South African variant. The halting of this vaccine means government will not be able to vaccinate all healthcare workers within the first 100 days of 2021 as per World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ plea last week.
In an exclusive interview with this Independent News, the Minister said the AstraZeneca information that came out was a set back and was in continued engagement with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as it proved to respond well to the new COVID-19 variant with 85% efficacy.
She said there were no dates for the AU deliveries of pfeizer, Johnson & Johnson, and what will become of the AstraZeneca.
“We continue to keep a close watch, and are learning from all countries that are already rolling out vaccines,” she said.
The minister revealed that the country can now be able to store the Pfizer vaccine, all thanks to a storage refrigerator that was donated by the Natie Kirsh Foundation.