Pfizer jabs running out, no word on J&J approval: Govt mum on slow rollout plan


15 days ago

JOHANNESBURG - There's a growing sense of frustration, concern and anger within the private sector at the slow pace of the national vaccine rollout.

In recent days, there have been several reports from accredited COVID-19 vaccination site that have simply turn people away because they don't have the doses to give them.

The Independent Community Pharmacy Association is one of the bodies helping with the rollout program. On Tuesday, it said all of its 27 pharmacies had run out of Pfizer jabs.

It also has 100 more sites, ready to get going with vaccinations all of which are waiting for word on when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks will be released.

The Independent Community Pharmacy Association's CEP Jackie Maimin on Tuesday said they had about 300 accredited vaccine sites with 200 more waiting for approval working with government to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible. But the vaccine just isn't flowing, and the supply crunch was a worry.

“Our pharmacies are just inundated with people enquiring when they can come in for the vaccination. We have people in their 80s desperate to be vaccinated. I think the main stumbling block has been the availability of vaccines. Our members are ready and waiting but there are just no vaccines available.”

Professor of vaccinology at Wits University Shabir Madhi said government failed to do proper planning to avoid this shortage of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Even with the rollout currently happening, in most parts, it will have an enormous effect with mitigating consequences of the resurgence that we are currently seeing because it’s been left for too late.”

Madhi said government had to explain why South Africa was not receiving 600,000 Pfizer vaccines per week as earlier promised.

Johnson & Johnson vaccines cannot yet be administered as government is waiting for the US Food and Drug Administration to lift the hold on the vaccines.

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This article first appeared on EWN : Pfizer jabs running out, no word on J&J approval: Govt mum on slow rollout plan

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