The Health Minister of South Africa, Dr. Zweli Mkhize has announced that the country has signed a deal to procure 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccines to aid the country’s efforts against the pandemic.
The Minister in his address disclosed also that payment processes are underway to close the deal in the next few days, which when fully concluded will set the stage for a significant and rapid expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination program in the country. He said:
“We can also confirm that the final tranche of 200 000 Johnson & Johnson doses for the Sisonke Protocol is expected to arrive on 10 April 2021. These doses will take us to the last mile of the Sisonke Protocol, which is set to become one of the most seminal studies in the history of the pandemic”
Dr. Mkhize also revealed that the country has undertaken an implementation study with a limited number of Pfizer doses used amongst healthcare workers, which according to him will prove to be a valuable contribution to the observation process of mass vaccination. This comes in line with the government’s engagement with relevant stakeholders to sensitize it to the needs of different communities.
“In preparation for the mass vaccination campaign, we have undertaken a deep study of the Sisonke Protocol to draw lessons from the program and enhance the efficiency of future operations,” he said.