Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed that South Africa signed a deal for the procurement of 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccines. Payment will be made in due course.

He added that the deal will be finalised within the next few days. In addition,the minister confirmed that the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) agreement was also “fully concluded”.

Vaccine administration in South Africa

Significant and rapid expansion’

According to a press release, Dr Mkhize believes that the two vaccine deals now “sets the stage for a significant and rapid expansion of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme”.

He confirmed that the “final tranche of 200 000 Johnson & Johnson doses for the Sisonke Protocol is expected to arrive on 10 April 2021, and explained:

“These doses will take us to the last mile of the Sisonke Protocol, which is set to become one of the most seminal studies in the history of the pandemic”.

The next step, according to the health minister, would now be for South Africa to “embark on an implementation study with a limited number of Pfizer doses used among healthcare workers”.

Implementation study

Minister Mkhize also described the implementation study as a “valuable contribution to the science of mass vaccination”, which will lead to the success of the vaccination programme:

“In preparation for the mass vaccination campaign, we have undertaken a deep study of the Sisonke Protocol to draw lessons from the programme and enhance the efficiency of future operations”.

Minister Mkhize thanked “government officials, business partners and social partners who are working around the clock to ensure that the programme is efficient, safe and exemplary”.

He explained that the department have, “upon deeper inspection and reflection”, revised the vaccination strategy to target “the most pressing public health and economic relief” which the programme should achieve.

COVID-19 in South Africa

At the time of publishing, South Africa had a confirmed caseload of 1 552 853 cases, along with 53 032 deaths while recoveries were at 1 478 820. In addition, the total number of vaccines administered now stands at 272 438.

The latest tally showed that no deaths were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the North West or the Northern Cape on 6 April.

In the Eastern Cape, 8 patient passed away, while 16 from the Free State and 9 from Gauteng passed away. South Africa how has a recovery rate of 95%. As at 6 April 2021:

Province Total Cases in South Africa Total Deaths Total Recoveries Active Cases currently
Eastern Cape 195 515 11 371 183 948 196
Free State 83 789 3 676 78 393 1 720
Gauteng 415 682 10 363 403 200 2 119
KwaZulu-Natal 334 600 10 236 318 596 5 768
Limpopo 63 276 2 241 60 748 287
Mpumalanga 75 613 1 348 73 426 839
North West 64 224 1 496 60 552 2 176
Northern Cape 36 641 825 33 009 2 807
Western Cape 283 513 11 476 266 948 5 089
Unallocated 0

Now read: Charlize Theron on the global vaccine effort and missing SA

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Presh JM Reporter

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