South Africa Receives Pfizer Vaccine Doses From U.S.

FILE PHOTO: Vials with a sticker reading, “COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only” and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The United States has donated about 2.8 million Pfizer vaccine doses to South Africa in order to boost the country’s vaccination rollout campaign.

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi was joined by Deputy Minister, Dr. Joe Phaahla and the Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in South Africa, Todd Haskell, in accepting the consignment at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday. 

According to the Department of Health, the arrival of this first batch is part of a donation from the US government.

The donation will contribute to the country’s expanded vaccination programme, which is fast gaining momentum to reach more people

The initiative is part of the collaboration between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), COVAX, and the US government, with the African Union Member States set to receive about 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to enhance coverage across the continent, and vaccinate at least 60% of the African population. 

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The Health Department disclosed further on Twitter that “the next batch will arrive on Tuesday to conclude the 5.6 million doses. The donation will contribute to the country’s expanded vaccination programme, which is fast gaining momentum to reach more people,”

The department said these life-saving vaccines arrive at a time when the country gears to vaccinate those aged between 18 and 34 from September.

“By the time we open for people between the ages of 18 and 34 to be vaccinated from the 1st of September 2021, we will be able to respond to the demand that this cohort will generate,” Kubayi said last week during a media briefing. 

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The department believes the donation contributes to the security of supply to meet the demands to reach the government’s milestones to inoculate the majority of the population soon. 

In addition, about 1 454 900 Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to be transported to various sites on Tuesday.

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