Covid-19: US donates 5.7 million Pfizer vaccine doses to SA

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  • The United States has donated 5.7 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to SA.
  • The doses will start arriving in the country on Saturday. 
  • The US mission says the donation is part of the country's "global efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic".

The United States has donated 5.7 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to South Africa and the first consignment is expected to land in the country on Saturday.

The donation gives South Africa's immunisation programme a significant boost after initial supply constraints.

The use of the AstraZeneca vaccine was stopped after it showed less protection and reduced efficacy against the Covid-19 variant that was spreading in the country. Another blow to the programme was when production of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine was halted due to contamination at a factory.

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In a statement on Wednesday, the local US mission said the donation was part of the country's "global efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic".

The US has pledged to donate 500 million vaccine doses to other parts of the world, including Africa, through Covax.  

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This week, the Aspen plant in Gqeberha also released 1.4 million doses from J&J, which are expected to be sent to sites next week.  

By Tuesday evening, a total of 6.8-million vaccine doses had been administered.

Vaccinations are open to people aged 35 and older.

On 1 September, registrations will open for people aged 18 and older.

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