Johnson & Johnson first in South Africa to apply for COVID-19 vaccine registration

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Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) applied for the COVID-19 vaccine registration in South Africa on Monday, confirmed the chief executive of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra), Boitumelo Semete.

“As of today we have received one application, this was received on Thursday evening from J&J, and we started the review process,” said Semete, according to Reuters.

Eyewitness News reports that at least four Covid-19 vaccine candidates in South Africa are being evaluated, while Reuters reports that other candidates are being developed by Novavax, AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

“We’ve had pre-submissions discussions with [other pharmaceutical companies] where we advised them on what the data is that we would require as a regulator,” said Semete, as reported by Eyewitness News.

“So, we really hope that this process that we have outlined and published on our website gives the industry sufficient information in terms of what is expected.”

Semete also said that it is important to assure the public that the vaccines focus on principles of “safety, quality and efficacy.”