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South Africa approves Sinopharm vaccine to tackle COVID-19

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said Monday that they have approved the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to be used in the country.

The Sinopharm vaccine can be used to vaccinate people aged 18 and older.

While the vaccine is known globally as Sinopharm, it will be referred to as MC Pharma in South Africa as international companies have to use a local company when applying to SAHPRA for authorization of their vaccine.

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SAHPRA has also registered the Pfizer vaccine shot Comirnaty, which was initially registered for emergency use. They licensed Comirnaty to be used to vaccinate people aged 12 and above.

Pfizer’s vaccine had previously been granted “Section 21 Emergency Use,” which permits the use of unregistered medical products in SA. This approval means it is fully registered.

“The registration of these vaccines is a vast stride in vaccine registration as SAHPRA plays its role in the fight against COVID-19. SAHPRA will continue to play its part in ensuring the quality, safety, and efficacy of all health products, including all vaccines to ensure that the South African public is protected at all times,” said SAHPRA CEO Boitumelo Semete Makokotlela.

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