The Portfolio Committee on Health has told the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) that the people are concerned and sceptical about the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines that have arrived. Furthermore, the committee said the fog of doubt around the Covid-19 vaccines must be cleared.
The committee was briefed by SAHPRA on Covid-19 vaccines and the use of Ivermectin.
Briefing the committee, SAHPRA Board Chairperson, Prof Helen Rees, said: “Regarding the use of Ivermectin, we cannot say the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 is good or bad at this point. We don’t know, we need well controlled studies which will be coming out in February and March on the efficacy of Ivermectin.” He said nowhere in the world is Ivermectin registered for the treatment of Covid-19.
The committee said it was pleased to hear a presentation highlighting randomised and controlled clinical studies for a medicine or a drug to be used for the public at large. It said such studies need to be peer-reviewed and published in reputable medical journals.
The committee said SAHPRA should have been the forerunner when the issue of Ivermectin first came up in the public domain. It said SAHPRA’s slow response in dealing with the issue of Ivermectin is concerning.
The Chief Executive Officer of SAHPRA, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, said as an entity they have not been passive in dealing with the Ivermectin issue, rather they have been engaging with other regulators in ensuring controlled and monitored access to Ivermectin.
SAHPRA told the committee that their role and responsibility when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccine, is to approve and monitor the vaccine trials, but not to conduct the actual clinical trials. Prof Rees added that SAHPRA is responsible for regulation and registration of the Covid-19 vaccines.