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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.