The United States of America has donated 2.8 million Pfizer vaccine doses to South Africa as part of efforts to boost the country’s vaccination rollout campaign.
On the ground to accept the consignment at the OR Tambo International Airport was the Acting Health Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, alongside Deputy Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla and the Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in South Africa, Todd Haskell.
The initiative forms part of the collaboration between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), COVAX, and the US government, through which African Union Member States are to receive about 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to boost coverage and vaccinate at least 60% of the African population. Stating the importance of the donation in Twitter, the Health Department noted that:
“The next batch will arrive on Tuesday to conclude the 5.6 million doses. The donation will contribute to the country’s expanded vaccination program, which is fast gaining momentum to reach more people”
According to the department, the vaccines arrive when the country is preparing to vaccinate those aged between 18 and 34 from September. The vaccines will enable the country to respond to the demand available as the department believes the donation contributes to the security of supply to reach the government’s milestones to inoculate most of the population.