Coronavirus live: South Africa asks Serum Institute to take back 1 million vaccine doses, says report

The World Health Organization has listed two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX.

The vaccines are produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India. The world body also listed the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use on December 31, 2020.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

South Africa asks Serum Institute to take back 1 million vaccine doses

South Africa has asked the Serum Institute of India to take back the one million COVID-19 vaccine doses the company had sent in early February, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday, a week after the country said it will put on hold use of AstraZeneca’s shot in its vaccination program.

Serum Institute of India, which is producing AstraZeneca’s shot, has emerged as a key vaccine supplier. One million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine landed in South Africa last week and another 500,000 were due to arrive in the next few weeks.

South Africa’s health minister has said the government may sell doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, after the country paused its rollout following a small clinical trial that showed it offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the 501Y.V2 coronavirus variant dominant in the country. – Reuters

T.N. poll officials to be included in priority group for vaccination

With Tamil Nadu all set to go to the polls in a few months, government officials involved in election work would now be included in the priority group of frontline workers for COVID-19 vaccination.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan on Monday said the officials who were to be deployed for election work would be regarded as frontline workers.

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