South Africa has suspended the launch of AstraZeneca's vaccine because data shows that the vaccine is almost ineffective against mild to moderate diseases caused by the South African variant strain.Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt downplayed this concern, saying that according to the latest British data, he still has confidence in AstraZeneca vaccine.
On Monday, February 2, Hunt said in an interview with 8GB Radio: "I have spoken to the British Minister of Health in the last few days and they have achieved very good results."
"This is a problem about a specific variant, a specific country, and the world is learning all the problems that arise about vaccines."
AstraZeneca is working with developers at the University of Oxford to try to make the vaccine suitable for the South African strain, but this process may take several months.
The South African Minister of Health hopes that the vaccine will only be temporarily suspended, and the authorities are seeking more information.
Australia is expected to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine within a few weeks, and more than 5000 million doses of the vaccine have been ordered, most of which will be produced locally in Australia.
Medical staff responsible for managing the coronavirus vaccine will soon receive mandatory training to minimize waste.
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