Covid-19: No strings attached to donation of millions of Pfizer vaccines, says US govt

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A health worker draws from a vial of the Pfizer vaccine.
A health worker draws from a vial of the Pfizer vaccine.
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
  • 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.  

Adriaan Basson | Why I chose to be vaccinated

"[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.

 

"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. 

READ | Covid-19: Get vaccinated and Wimpy will give you a free filter coffee

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.

Crisp said:

We have managed to gear up our vaccination programme where we are currently able to do at least one million doses every three days, but we have not had the vaccines to enable us to get to that speed. We do have the capacity to do even better than that, and this donation is huge at a time when we are now able to move it into the community and vaccinate.

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. 

READ | Is it your ethical duty to get vaccinated? We ask the experts

"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.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research. Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
32% - 2367 votes
No, I have deleted it
38% - 2807 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
31% - 2280 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.68
+0.9%
Rand - Pound
20.18
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
17.06
+0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.89
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.6%
Gold
1,778.89
+0.8%
Silver
23.63
+2.1%
Palladium
2,072.50
+2.5%
Platinum
1,056.00
+1.7%
Brent Crude
84.33
-0.6%
Top 40
60,221
+0.1%
All Share
66,792
+0.1%
Resource 10
63,626
+0.1%
Industrial 25
84,496
+0.3%
Financial 15
14,073
-0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE