The Swaziland (eSwatini) Government has done an about turn and decided to halt purchases of the controversial AstraZeneca coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
Many counties across the world have suspended use of the vaccine after reports that it could cause blood clots.
The Swazi Government had said it would continue to use AstraZeneca. Now, according to a media report in Swaziland, it will not use the AstraZeneca vaccine for now.
The Times of eSwatini reported, ‘Following the latest findings that the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was less effective against the South African COVID-19 variant, South Africa stopped the enrolment of the vaccine.
‘The eSwatini Ministry of Health also decided to halt buying the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine because of the close proximity between eSwatini and South Africa while still doing studies to determine how much of the variant is in local shores.’
Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi said Swaziland was turning to the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines.
The Times quoted Nkosi saying, ‘The country did not totally depend on the Oxford AstraZeneca.’
World Health Organisation Health Promotion Officer Dr Kevin Makadzange said it also advised the delay of securing the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine until a risk benefit assessment was completed.
‘A country should make tests, to assess the probability of the South African variants against the COVID-19 known strains. If the probability of having the South African variant is low, then they could consider using the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines,’ Dr Makadzange said.
On Wednesday (17 March 2021) the Swazi Government released photographs of Nkosi being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Swaziland continues to use AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, despite global health scare