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Pfizer leak: SA health officials didn't respond to requests for 'months and months' to talk about Covid-19 vaccines

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In this illustration, a hand of a person seen holding a syringe in front of the Pfizer and BioNTech logo.
In this illustration, a hand of a person seen holding a syringe in front of the Pfizer and BioNTech logo.
Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images

The story: Health officials were allegedly not responsive to requests from global pharmaceutical company Pfizer to discuss potential uptake of its Covid-19 vaccines for "months and months", a leaked phone call with a senior Pfizer employee reveals.

The context: The leak comes as the health department continues to deny that it delayed in engaging in crucial discussions over vaccine deals early enough and, while some deals have been announced, not a single dose of any vaccine has yet arrived in the country.

The other side: "South Africa had started thinking about vaccines a long time ago, with our early meetings with some manufacturers in July 2020," a health department spokesperson told News24 last week.

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