Zimbabwe approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has approved the use of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

MCAZ is responsible for protecting public and animal health by ensuring that accessible medicines and allied substances and medical devices are safe, effective and of good quality through enforcement of adherence to standards by manufacturers and distributors.

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It is a statutory body established by an act of Parliament, The Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act (MASCA) [Chapter 15.03].

The vaccine becomes the fifth to be approved for use in the country after the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac, the Russian Sputnik V and the Indian Covaxin.

“Based on the review of the submitted quality, safety and efficacy data and upon performing a benefit-risk assessment thereof, emergency use authorisation has been granted for Ad26.Sars-Cov-S manufactured by Johnson and Johnson.

“This authorisation was issued on the basis of section 75 of the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act (Chapter 15:03),” said the MCAZ.

The developments have been welcomed even by some of Government’s fierce critics.

Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who has previously advocated for wider options the vaccines available for people to make own choices, said Government had done a commendable job.

“Well done to the Zimbabwean Government for licensing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Now let us accept the donations on offer and the Africa CDC Johnson & Johnson facility available to save lives!

“At US$10 a shot, it is suitable for our ruthlessly looted pockets,” Chin’ono remarked. □

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