Zweli Mkhize Health South Africa city Johannesburg covid-19 vaccine Zweli Mkhize Health South Africa city Johannesburg

South Africa pivots to unapproved Johnson & Johnson vaccine after scrapping AstraZeneca

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africa will give the unapproved Johnson & Johnson vaccine to its front-line health workers beginning next week as a study to see what protection it provides from COVID-19, particularly against the variant dominant there, the health minister said Wednesday.Zweli Mkhize said South Africa has scrapped plans to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine because it "does not prevent mild to moderate disease" of the variant.The one-shot J&J vaccine is still being tested internationally and has not been approved in any country.RELATED: AstraZeneca tweaking COVID-19 vaccine to fight South African variantBut Mkhize, in a nationally broadcast address, declared that the vaccine is safe, relying on tests of 44,000 people done in South.

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