Namibia bans use of Sputnik vaccine

25 October 2021 | Health

NAMPA



WINDHOEK

The health ministry has banned the use of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, after safety concerns were raised about it making men more susceptible to HIV.

A statement issued by the ministry's executive director, Ben Nangombe, said the ministry became aware of a media release issued by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) on 18 October, on the outcome of a data review submitted by Lamar International. The data indicated concerns with the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in populations at risk of HIV infection and with high presence of pre-existing Ad-specific neutralising antibodies in the general population.

Namibia received a donation of 15 000 doses of Component 1 and 15 000 doses of Component 2 of the Sputnik vaccine from the Serbian government earlier this year, which resulted in the vaccine being rolled out to certain vaccination sites in the country from 18 September.

As of 20 October, 108 doses of Component 1 and seven doses of Component 2 had been administered.

According to SAHPRA, the vaccine technology used by Sputnik were halted in the past due to the Ad5 vector vaccine being associated with enhanced susceptibility or acquisition of HIV in men.

“The ministry will discontinue the use of Sputnik V vaccine in the national vaccination programme with immediate effect until it has received the World Health Organisation emergency use listing,” Nangombe noted.

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