SA receives first batch of 5.6 million Pfizer vaccines from the U.S

The donation will contribute to country’s goal of vaccinating one million people in three days.

South Africa received a donation of 5.66 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from the United States government. This donation was a part of President Joe Biden’s pledge to give 500 million vaccines to the world by the end of 2022.The first batch of 2.8 million doses was received in SA yesterday, 31 July 2021, with the remainder expected to arrive early next week. The vaccines were channelled to South Africa via the COVAX initiative. “This donation comes handy for us. It is going to assist us in terms of ramping up our vaccine programme”, said acting Health Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi. She added that with the receipt of these doses, inoculation is expected to pick up momentum such that 400 000 vaccines will be administered per day.

“At the present rate of vaccination, we are currently vaccinating one million people in four days. The number of vaccinated people has just surpassed another milestone of seven million”, the Minister said. With the expected arrival of the balance of the Pfizer vaccines combined with another batch of 1 454 900 J&J doses expected to be received this coming week, the country will soon be able to vaccinate one million people in three days. These donations come in a timely manner for South Africa as the country prepares to move to a younger age cohort of 18-34 years from the 01st of September 2021. To date, the country has administered over 7 297 912 doses of a vaccine.