First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

South Africa suspends J&J vaccine rollout after U.S. pa...



South Africa suspends J&J vaccine rollout after U.S. pause

On Wednesday 14 April the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) issued a statement that the use of the J&J vaccine in South Africa would also be temporarily halted while scientific reviews were conducted.
By Reuters
13 Apr 2021 0

JOHANNESBURG, April 13 (Reuters) - South Africa has suspended the rollout of Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, its health minister said on Tuesday, after U.S. federal health agencies recommended pausing its use because of rare cases of blood clots.

* J&J at heart of South Africa‘s vaccination plans

* Deal for 31 million doses recently signed

* 290,000 shots given to health workers in study

* Minister says 10 mln more Pfizer shots secured (Adds another Mkhize quote, context)

By Alexander Winning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the pause there was expected to be a matter of days. Six women under 50 developed rare blood clots in the United States among more than six million people given the J&J shot so far.

“I held urgent consultations with our scientists, who have advised that we cannot take the decision by the FDA lightly,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told reporters.

“We have determined to voluntarily suspend our rollout until the causal relationship between the development of clots and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is sufficiently interrogated,” Mkhize added, saying there had been no reports of such clots in South Africa after roughly 290,000 vaccinations.

Following the FDA news, J&J said it was delaying the rollout of the vaccine to Europe.

South Africa‘s health regulator approved J&J’s one-shot vaccine two weeks ago, but it has only been given to health workers in a research study so far. The government expects to receive its first batch of commercial doses later this month, as part of a deal with J&J for 31 million doses.

Mkhize said the government had negotiated an additional 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer, meaning 30 million shots of that two-dose vaccine had now been secured.

“This also reassures us that, in the extremely unlikely event that Johnson & Johnson rollout is completely halted, we will not have any impediment to proceed with phase two of the rollout with Pfizer,” he said.

With the J&J and Pfizer deals, South Africa has enough vaccines for more than 40 million people out of its population of around 60 million. It has also made a downpayment to global vaccine distribution scheme COVAX.

South Africa is the worst-hit country on the African continent for recorded coronavirus infections and deaths, suffering from a more infectious virus variant called 501Y.V2.

The country had planned to kick-off its vaccination campaign in February with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. But it put plans to use that shot on hold after a small local trial showed it offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the 501Y.V2 variant. (Additional reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Mark Potter)


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted