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Donation of 5.6-million vaccine doses to relieve vaccine supply pressure

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Donation of 5.6-million vaccine doses to relieve vaccine supply pressure

Covid-19 Vaccines

30th July 2021

By: News24Wire

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South Africa's vaccine supply is expected to get a significant injection over the next week, with about seven-million doses entering the supply line.

This includes a donation of more than 5.6-million doses by the US through the Covax vaccine facility, said Department of Health Deputy Director-General Nicholas Crisp during a briefing on Friday.

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The country has grappled with vaccine supply constraints over the past week after a consignment of vaccines did not arrive as expected earlier this week.

The department fell short of its target of 300 000 daily doses this week, reaching only about 220 000 jabs per day due to the supply constraints.

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However, this week the country reached seven-million vaccine doses administered since the start of the national rollout programme.

The country currently has enough stock on hand to do vaccinations for seven days, but this will increase over the weekend when the next consignments arrive.

"[It is a] very substantial consignment arriving from the USA during the course of the weekend and into the early part of next week. It's so large, it's not coming in one consignment, and it should be going into the pipeline during the course of next [week]," Crisp said.

In addition, 1.43-million Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine doses will be distributed from Monday, Crisp said.

About 16-million Pfizer vaccine doses are expected to be delivered in the third quarter, along with 10-million J&J doses.

The current stock of the J&J vaccine was initially earmarked for immunising public sector essential workers. However, with the increased supply, it has now been diverted to the general public sector.

Crisp said the vaccination of priority groups was drawing to a close, with the last group vaccination – that of media workers – having started on Thursday.

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