By Thys Khiba
Johannesburg – The national department of health led by Dr. Zweli Mkhize has announced that the first batch of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines has arrived in South Africa last night.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the first batch of Pfizer vaccines (325 260 doses) will land at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday 2 May 2021 at 23:45 CAT,” said Mkhize.
In a statement, Mkhize said the consignment is 325 260 doses and by end of this month, the country would have received 1.3 million doses.
This simply means that the department of health will receive weekly deliveries of 325 260 doses until month. “Thereafter the vaccine supply will increase to an average of 636 480 doses weekly from 31 May which will see us accumulating close to 4,5 million doses by the end of June,” said Mkhize.
According to Mkhize, Johnson and Johnson doses awaiting dispatch in Gqeberha are expected to be released in mid-May.
“This is due to a protracted safety verification process with international regulatory agencies (FDA, EMA and SAHPRA),” said Mkhize.
Mkhize says this is a precautionary measure after the adverse findings during inspection of Emergent BioSolutions Bayview facility in the USA.
The national health minister, Dr. Mkhize confirmed that for now the department will continue to vaccinate health care workers with the remaining early access doses of Johnson and Johnson via the Sisonke Protocol and use Pfizer at a later stage.
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