- On Sunday, the acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi, welcomed a consignment of 2.8 million Pfizer vaccine doses at the OR Tambo International Airport, that were donated by the US. The next batch of 5.6 million doses is expected to arrive on Tuesday.
- US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, said the donation would strengthen the existing health partnership with South Africa.
- On Monday, Nuland visited the site where the vaccines are being stored.
The United States government says there are no strings attached to its recent donation of millions of Pfizer vaccines to South Africa.
On Monday, the US' Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, visited the facility in Johannesburg housing the vaccines donated by the US to the country.
On Sunday the acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi welcomed a consignment of 2.8 million Pfizer vaccine doses at OR Tambo International Airport, donated by the US. The next batch of 5.6 million doses is expected to arrive on Tuesday.
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"[We are here] to welcome and announce 5.6 million doses of Pfizer donated by the American people to the people of South Africa with no strings attached and we do this because as President Biden has said, none of us is safe till all of us are safe," Nuland said.
Nuland said that this donation would strengthen the existing health partnership with South Africa.
This contribution comes timely for us as we prepare to move to younger age cohort of 18 in September. Today’s donation contributes to security of supply to meet the demands we have to reach our set milestones and vaccinate a majority of the population soon #VaccineRollOutSA pic.twitter.com/lC75JLGYEM— Department of Health (@HealthZA) July 31, 2021
"Now we are also getting into business with South Africa in the production of vaccines first for Covid-19 but also so we can be ready for the next pandemic that comes our way, with the US and other international donor investment in Aspen Pharmacare, where we can finish and fill vaccine vials and ideally this will over time not only make all South Africans safe but enable vaccinations all over the continent," she said.
Nuland also reiterated that the US supported the Trips waiver, which will suspend intellectual property (IP) protection for Covid-19 vaccines, as previously stated by US President Joe Bidden.
Nuland was joined by Dr Nicholas Crisp, the deputy director-general at the National Department of Health, who said that the timing of this donation could not have been better.
The vaccines are being kept at DSV healthcare facility, and according to managing director Anthony Diack, the facility has the capacity to house 6.5 million doses.
"Our role is that we receive the vaccines from the inbound shipments from overseas. We store them and send some supplies down to the testing labs in Bloemfontein, and then we wait for the orders.
"We then get the orders from the department of health, and they tell us how many vaccines, ... and where they want the vaccines delivered. We will then pick it and package it into the correct packaging and deliver it to the correct vaccine sites," said Diack.
Nuland will also be visiting Botswana, Tanzania, and Niger.