South African Regulator Recommends Lifting J&J Vaccine Ban

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South Africa’s health regulator asked the government to lift the pause on administering Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine provided certain conditions are met.

“These conditions include, but are not limited to, strengthened screening and monitoring of participants who are at high risk of a blood clotting disorder,” the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority said in a statement.

South Africa halted J&J vaccines after health agencies on Tuesday called for their suspension in the U.S. The J&J shot is a key element to South Africa’s vaccination plan and has already been used to inoculate health workers, with no reported adverse effects. Drug maker Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. will manufacture the J&J vaccine in South Africa for wider use.

The government has been slow to rollout its vaccination program, and only 292,623 health-care workers had been inoculated with the J&J doses as of April 17. South Africa, which is the worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic on the continent, lags behind emerging market peers in vaccinations.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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