COVID-19 shot from Sinovac authorized for use in South Africa

The vaccine has a two-year shelf life when stored between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.

The national health products regulator announced that the Coronavac COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech has received registration for use in South Africa. "The South African Health Products and Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) registered the COVID-19 vaccine, Coronavac, on 14 June 2022, with conditions. The registration was done in terms of Section 15(6a) of the Medicines and Related Substance Act 101 of 1965," it said in a statement on its website on Friday. According to SAHPRA, the vaccine has a two-year shelf life when stored between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. Last year, the vaccine was given approval under several conditions, one of which being that the final clinical research findings would be considered.

The Coronavac is an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus (CZo2 strain) to prevent COVID-19 caused by this kind of virus. It is administered by intramuscular injection in two doses between 14-28 days apart from the initial dose for individuals 18-59 years of age. The regulator stated in the statement released on Friday that the Coronavac's side effects, as demonstrated by clinical trial data, included discomfort at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle soreness, and nausea. These symptoms were often mild or moderate and went away a few days after receiving the immunization. The announcement coincides with the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, including the requirement for mask use indoors.