Metro (Lesotho)

South Africa wary of Sputnik vaccine over HIV fears

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South Africa’s health products regulator, Sahpra, has withheld approval for Russia’s Sputnik V Covid vaccine over concerns that it could increase the risk of HIV infection among men. The decision was based on two earlier studies that tested the safety of a modified form of adenovirus contained in the Russian jab. The Gamaleya Institute, which developed Sputnik V, said it would produce informatio­n to show that Sahpra's concerns were completely unfounded. The country has the highest HIV burden in Africa. It has about 7.8 million cases of HIV among its population of over 60 million people, according to UNAids. About 13.5% of men aged between 15 and 49 are infected. Sahpra said its concerns followed consultati­ons with local and internatio­nal experts.

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