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SA has placed ‘large orders’ of vaccines with Pfizer, J&J – Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that the government was also looking at procuring Russia’s Sputnik vaccine and the Chinese vaccines, Sinopharm and Sinovac, with non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) already signed with most leading manufacturers.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize gets his J&J COVID-19 vaccination at Khayelitsha Hospital on 17 February 2021 Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that South Africa had placed large orders for vaccines with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, which he expected to be finalised within the next few days.

On Tuesday, Mkhize announced that the next batch of 80,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would arrive this Saturday, 27 February.

The minister was replying to a parliamentary debate on the vaccine roll-out.

Mkhize told Members of Parliament (MPs) that more than 23,000 healthcare workers had already been vaccinated against COVID-19, with that number expected to rise to 40,000 by the end of Wednesday.

“We have placed huge orders with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, which will be finalised in the next few days and announced when concluded, while discussions are ongoing with Moderna – we have not reached any finality.”

The Health Minister said that the government was also looking at procuring Russia’s Sputnik vaccine and the Chinese vaccines, Sinopharm and Sinovac, with non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) already signed with most leading manufacturers.

“This [the NDAs] allows us to gain critical insight to their supply lines, their manufacturing plans and possible blockages in the manufacturing pipeline. It also allows us to pursue negotiations over the prices, volumes and timelines for delivery.”

Mkhize said that so far, more than half a million healthcare workers had registered online to receive vaccines.

He said that a study by the Human Sciences Research Council showed that 67% of citizens would either definitely, or probably take the vaccine – while only 12% said they would not.

WATCH: National vaccine rollout finally gets under way

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