Nehawu welcomes Health Dept deal with Pfizer for 20m COVID-19 vaccine doses

The 'Business Day' is reporting that delivery is expected from the middle of the month.

In this file photo taken on 30 December 2020, vials of undiluted Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to administer to staff and residents at the Goodwin House Bailey's Crossroads, a senior living community in Falls Church, Virginia. Picture: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Nehawu has welcomed the Health Department's signing of a crucial contract with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that will see South Africa receive 20 million vaccine doses.

The Business Day is reporting that delivery is expected from the middle of the month.

READ: Health dept signs deal with Pfizer for 20m COVID-19 vaccine doses - report

Last month, Cabinet announced that the country's second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout would begin in May, targeting over 13 million people.

Together with the Johnson & Johnson agreement for 30 million vaccines, the scene is finally set for South Africa to begin the rollout of the country's vaccine programme.

Pfizer is a double-dose vaccine, while Johnson and Johnson is a single-dose vaccine. So far, over 260,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated across the country.

"As Nehawu, we welcome the signing of a contract with Pfizer for the supply of 20 million vaccines. We hope that government will work extra hard to get more vaccines as the vaccination programme has been running very slowly and we are slowly approaching the third wave,” Nehawu’s Khaya Xhaba.

Meanwhile, a vaccinologist at Wits University, Professor Shabir Madhi, said that these vaccine doses needed to get to the public as soon as possible.

"Because in all likelihood we will be experiencing a resurgence in some parts of the country come May, June and we need to get the vaccines out as soon as possible to make a meaningful difference."

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