Mkhize: Generators ready to ensure power cuts don't affect vaccine storage

The stage two blackouts are expected to last until Tuesday night but as always, there’s no guarantee.

The first batch of Pfizer vaccines has landed at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday, 02 May 2021. Picture: Zweli Mkhize/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The latest bout of load shedding has raised concerns that the Pfizer vaccines, which require ultra-cold storage may be compromised but the Department of Health has stressed that it’s taken all precautions to make sure this doesn't happen.

The stage two blackouts are expected to last until Tuesday night but as always, there’s no guarantee.

The department though, said the almost 1 million vaccines were being stored in strategic places and Eskom was on standby to jump in if there was an unexpected turn of events.

Deputy director general of health Anban Pillay said the vials were being kept at facilities where backup generators would kick in.

"We have stored most of the vaccines at strategic points in the country where backup generation will be available should we have problems with power."

The vaccines will not be sent to areas where there may be problems, as Health Minister Zweli Mkhize explained on Sunday night: “We are looking at questions at teams that are overseeing the situation around Eskom and the power cuts so that if there is anything that happens, we have a team that is able to respond as soon as possible.”

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