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Zim finally approves American vaccine

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In an apparent climb down, the government through the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has finally authorised the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine with effect from 25 July 2021.

The Southern African country had initially turned down the American vaccine of more than 3 million doses citing storage issues.

The American made vaccine becomes the first Western dose to be approved for use against Covid-19 in the country.

The Johnson & Johnson is an addition to the other three approved vaccines that include Sinopham, Sinovac and Sputnik.

Clinical trials have shown that a single dose of the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 72% in the United States, and a lower efficacy in countries where more contagious variants are widespread.

Zimbabwe is currently battling to contain the rapidly spreading Delta variant and other highly prevalent coronavirus viral variants.

The vaccine has been authorised for emergency use by the European Union, the United States and other countries.

The Johnson & Johnson jab, also known as the Janssen vaccine, is administered via a one-off injection. Janssen Pharmaceutica, a Belgium-based subsidiary of American company Johnson & Johnson, developed the vaccine in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre.

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