SA will seal deal, make payment for 20 million Pfizer vaccine doses within days - Zweli Mkhize

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
GCIS
  • The Department of Health is expecting to close the deal on the Pfizer agreement for 20 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in the next few days.
  • The agreement has been signed and payment is being processed.
  • The next batch of 200 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to arrive in South Africa on Saturday.


The Department of Health says payment processes are under way to seal its deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer in the next few days for 20 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.

"With the Johnson & Johnson agreement also fully concluded, this sets the stage for a significant and rapid expansion of our vaccination programme," Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mkhize said the next batch of 200 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the Sisonke Protocol is expected to arrive on Saturday.

He said these would take South Africa to finality of the Sisonke Protocol, which he said was "set to become one of the most seminal studies in the history of the pandemic".

An implementation study will also be conducted with a limited number of Pfizer doses used among healthcare workers.

In preparation for the mass vaccination campaign, the department said it studied the Sisonke Protocol to draw lessons from the programme and enhance the efficiency of future operations.

"We have also continued to engage stakeholders across all sectors to sensitise ourselves to the needs of various communities," Mkhize said.

He said: 

Upon deeper inspection and reflection, the Department of Health has worked on a revised strategy to ensure that the vaccination campaign targets the most pressing public health and economic relief that vaccination should achieve.

"These revisions will require extensive yet urgent consultation to ensure that the final programme expresses the will of the people.

"Upon completion of the ratification process, we will announce the details of the revised vaccination programme to the public and call on the first group of eligible citizens to register on the Electronic Vaccination System."

In the 24 hours to Tuesday evening, 37 new confirmed Covid-19-related deaths and 437 new infections were reported in South Africa.

The Free State recorded 16 new deaths, Gauteng nine, the Eastern Cape eight and the Western Cape four.

This brings the total to 53 032 confirmed Covid-19-related deaths. In total, 1 552 853 cases have been recorded in South Africa.


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