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Pfizer to Ship 4.5 Million Vaccine Doses to South Africa by June

Vials of the Pfizer BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine. Photographer: Mauricio Palos/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. will ship 4.5 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccines to South Africa by June helping the nation ramp up its inoculation drive.

By Antony Sguazzin
May 2, 2021, 4:31 PM – Updated on May 2, 2021, 4:31 PM
Word Count: 256

The first 325,260 doses will arrive Sunday night, Zweli Mkhize, South Africa’s health minister said in a statement. The government also expects Johnson & Johnson to release stock from the Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd.’s plant in the nation by the middle of May following a verification process with regulators, according to the statement. Aspen is making the J&J vaccines under license.

Read: South Africa’s Spats With J&J, Pfizer Mask Patent Concerns

South Africa, which is the worst-affected country by the coronavirus pandemic on the continent, lags behind emerging market peers in vaccinations. It halted J&J vaccines after health agencies last month called for their suspension in the U.S. The J&J shot is a key element to the nation’s vaccination plan and has already been used to inoculate health workers, with no reported adverse effects.

The government last month awarded tenders to state-backed Biologicals Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa Ltd. and Imperial Logistics Ltd. to import an unspecified quantity of doses, the Department of Health said in a document on its website. DSV Healthcare Ltd. was contracted to store and distribute the doses countrywide.

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The government ordered 30 million of the two-dose vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE, which in addition to the J&J shots should be sufficient to inoculate more than two thirds of the nation’s 60 million population to achieve herd immunity.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]
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