South Africa plans to share 1 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses with other African countries, a senior official said, as a medical association said the first shots from rival Johnson & Johnson could arrive on Tuesday.
The country paused the rollout of AstraZeneca doses this month, after preliminary trial data showed they offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the country's dominant coronavirus variant.
It has been consulting with scientists about what to do with the AstraZeneca vaccine, switching to a plan to start inoculating healthcare workers with J&J's alternative in a research study. The South African Medical Association (SAMA) said if the first shots arrived on Tuesday as expected, then vaccinations could start on Wednesday.
Eighty thousand J&J shots are expected initially, and up to 500,000 health workers could be immunized in total in the study.