US donation of 2.8 million Pfizer vaccine doses to arrive in SA on Tuesday

The commitment of gifting half a billion Pfizer vaccines to countries across the world was made by US President Joe Biden in June. This is being channeled through the Covax facility with South Africa receiving over 5 million doses.

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 - A second batch consisting of over 2.8 million Pfizer vaccines is set to arrive in South Africa on Tuesday.

This brings the donation from the US government to a total of 5.66 million vials. The first consignment arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday. The Health Department has praised US officials for helping the nation bolster its vaccine drive.

The commitment of gifting half a billion Pfizer vaccines to countries across the world was made by US President Joe Biden in June. This is being channeled through the Covax facility, with South Africa receiving over 5 million doses.

The national Health Department said that this would fuel the country's vaccine rollout programme, which was fast gaining momentum. The shipments also comes at a time when authorities are preparing to inoculate the 18 to 34 age category cohort.

"This is a huge amount and at the moment we've been on quite a serious vaccine deficit but the fact that we are now getting other vaccines into our pipeline is fantastic, because it means all our services can open up at full capacity now," the department's Dr Nicholas Crisp said.

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