Mkhize mum on which countries bought SA’s AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines

The department on Sunday said government had concluded the sale of the jabs it acquired but did not use to other African Union member states.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, Deputy President David Mabuza, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy High Commissioner of India Abhijit Chakraborty celebrate the arrival of the first million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at OR Tambo International Airport on 1 February 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Health has not yet divulged which countries have bought our batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines and for how much.

The department on Sunday said government had concluded the sale of the jabs it acquired but did not use to other African Union member states.

"The minister can confirm that the full purchase amount was received by the department on Monday last week. The AU and South African teams then ensured that all logistical arrangements are in place for the shipment of the vaccines. The minister is pleased to announce that the first batch of vaccines that is being delivered will benefit 9 member states. The balance will be collected this week to be delivered to 5 other countries," Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

South Africa paused AstraZeneca vaccinations last month because of a small trial showing the shot offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness caused by the dominant local coronavirus variant.

At the time, South Africa had received 1 million AstraZeneca doses from the Serum Institute of India and the delivery of another half a million was pending.

The health ministry said it worked to ensure that all member states identified by the AU vaccines acquisition teams as recipients of the vaccines were compliant and had obtained all regulatory approvals, permits and licences to roll out the vaccines in their respective countries.

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