S.African health regulator probes 28 deaths recorded after jabs

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said it was probing the deaths of 28 people who apparently died after being administered with a Covid-19 vaccine.

The study would be conducted to determine if these fatalities were directly linked to the vaccination in the country where the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer jabs are being used, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We need to determine if the event that we saw is indeed related to the vaccine or related to something else. These are very comprehensive studies that would be conducted,” SAHPRA’s CEO Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela said on Thursday.

The probe was launched after the SAHPRA on Wednesday told parliamentarians that there were reports of breakthrough infections after people were inoculated with the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

According to the National Health Department’s figures, around 5.5 million South Africans have been vaccinated.

Over one million people have received the J&J vaccine and 4.5 million others the Pfizer jab.

SAHPRA said they have received 3,730 reports of adverse events following immunisation, of which 279 were termed as adverse events of special interest.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the country, one of the worst hit in the African continent, has recorded 2,327,472 cases till date, with 68,192 fatalities.