South Africa’s Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has clarified that the country has not returned the AstraZeneca vaccines to the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Several mainstream news websites such as The Hindu, Economic Times, Reuters, NDTV, etc, have reported that South Africa has asked the Serum Institute of India to take back the 1 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines which were delivered to them. The news was first published by Reuters and was then picked up by other news agencies.
This news was picked up by Pakistani netizens and was soon a hot topic. Some netizens even went ahead to claim that this suggested withdrawal is making the Indian economy face huge losses.
This was soon debunked by the Health Minister of South Africa Dr Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday at the parliament. Wion has quoted the Minister saying, “I would like to clarify a few media reports that said we have returned the vaccines to India. We have not returned the Astra Zeneca vaccines to India,”
''The AstraZeneca doses we purchased have been offered to the African Union platform, of which we are part of, and the AU will distribute to those countries who have already expressed interest in acquiring the stock'', the minister said.
Moreover, he also added that there are rumours that claim that the vaccines have expired. He strongly denied these rumours and added that the expiry is only on the 31st of April.
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