US Pfizer vaccine donations a major boost for SA - Health Dept

Through the World Health Organization's Covax mechanism, the first tranche of 5.6 million vaccines is set to arrive in South Africa in the next few days.

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

CAPE TOWN - The National Health Department said that a consignment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, donated by the United States, would help give the country's COVID-19 immunisation programme a major boost.

Through the World Health Organization's Covax mechanism, the first tranche of vaccines is set to arrive in South Africa in the next few days.

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Officials said that these jabs were paid for by the US government. The 5.6 million Pfizer vaccines are set to touch down in separate batches.

“When it arrives, it gets taken to the various stores that are contracted to manage the logistics. And then their samples go to the national control laboratory for testing and various temperature monitors and charts from the time the vaccine was packed until it landed are examined to check that there's been a breach in the cold chain,” said deputy director-general, Dr Nicholas Crisp.

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