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Daily Podcast – February 08, 2021

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Daily Podcast – February 08, 2021

8th February 2021

By: Thabi Madiba
Creamer Media Researcher and Writer

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For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Madiba.

Making headlines: South Africa suspends Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine roll-out; Ramaphosa has stern warning for those involved in corruption; And, Nigerian President says African Union must reform to stay relevant

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South Africa suspends Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine roll-out

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South Africa has suspended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in its immunisation programme until a committee of scientists advised on the best way to proceed.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s announcement on Sunday came after trial data showed the vaccine developed by drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford offered only limited protection against mild and moderate disease caused by the 501Y.V2 coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa.

The government had intended to soon roll the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot out to healthcare workers, after receiving 1-million doses produced by the Serum Institute of India last week.

Instead, it will offer vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer in the coming weeks while experts consider how the AstraZeneca shot can be deployed.

 

Ramaphosa has stern warning for those involved in corruption

President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured South Africans that the net was closing in on those involved in corrupt acts, warning those found guilty that they will be dealt with harshly and appropriately.

Last week the Special Investigating Unit released a report on public spending on coronavirus in South Africa, which found evidence of political pressure, price inflation, and fraud in many of the contracts, fuelled by an "insatiable pursuit of self-enrichment".

Ramaphosa said the investigation provided encouragement that unlawful deeds were being uncovered and action was being taken against those who were responsible.

He further revealed that some civil litigation cases have been instituted to recover money and other cases have been referred for prosecution. Unlawful contract have been cancelled and government will not pay service providers under investigation pending an outcome.

 

And, Nigerian President says African Union must reform to stay relevant

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the African Union must conduct a comprehensive reform if it is to stay relevant.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and the largest economy on the continent, making it an influential member of the 55-nation bloc that was formed to promote international cooperation and harmonise member states' policies.

The bloc decided in 2016 it needed to work on changes to make it more nimble, focused and accountable, putting Rwanda's President Paul Kagame in charge of the process.

Buhari did not outline any specific changes he envisaged for the bloc that also has a peacekeeping mission that enables it to send forces to member states and has secured millions of shots of Covid-19 vaccines for the continent.

 

That’s a roundup of news making headlines today

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