South Africans March to Demand Russia, China Vaccine Approval

South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters, the country’s third-biggest political party, is leading a march on Friday to demand that the national health products regulator immediately approve the use of Covid-19 vaccines from Russia and China.

The march, which has been criticized because it comes at the height of a third wave of coronavirus infections in the country, is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. local time and will make its way to the office of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority in Pretoria, the capital.

While the EFF claims that the authority is refusing to approve the vaccines, SAHPRA has explained its processes and is currently evaluating the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines from China as well as Russia’s Sputnik V shot. So far vaccines from Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc have been approved for use in the country.

South Africa’s government has been criticized for the slow pace of its vaccine rollout, the main part of which only began last month. Of the 40 million people it estimates it needs to vaccinate to achieve herd immunity just 2.55 million have received a dose of vaccine.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.