South Africa is set to receive its first batch of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. The 325 260 doses are expected to land on Sunday night at the OR Tambo International Airport.
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize said that his Department has engaged all security agencies to ensure all necessary security procedures are in place for safe delivery of the vaccines and made the necessary arrangements with the police.
SA TO GET MORE PFIZER COVID-19 JABS, WEEKLY
Mkhize said upon arrival the vaccines will be transported initially to a central warehouse.
“Samples will be sent to the National Control Laboratory for quality assurance and after release, they will be distributed to the provinces. Following this initial delivery of Pfizer, we are expecting approximately the same number of doses to arrive on a weekly basis to a total of over 1.3 million doses by the end of May.
“Thereafter, the vaccine supply will increase to an average of 636 480 doses weekly from 31 May which will see us accumulating close to 4.5 million doses by the end of June.
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize
The Health Department said it has received communication that the Johnson and Johnson doses awaiting to be dispatched in Gqeberha are expected to be released around the middle of May.
“This is due to a protracted safety verification process with international regulatory agencies (FDA, EMA and SAHPRA). This is a precautionary measure following the adverse findings during inspection of Emergent BioSolutions Bayview facility in the United States. The facility is one of the manufacturing partners of Johnson and Johnson which prompted the authorities to extend their assessments of all Johnson and Johnson stock worldwide. These assessments are still underway,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize also urged all health care workers, traditional healers and all citizens who 60 years and above to register on the EVDS as the vaccine rollout continues.