Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says close to 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected in South Africa before the end of June as the country prepares to start Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Mkhize says batches of the same number of doses will arrive weekly with a total number of 1.3 million doses expected at the end of the month accumulating to 4.5 million doses at the end of June.
Mkhize adds that market doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to be released from a pharmaceutical company Aspen’s plant in Gqeberha from the middle of this month.
According to the health department, the vaccination of healthcare workers will continue with both the J&J and Pfizer vaccines. It is expected that more than 1.2 million healthcare workers will be vaccinated by the 16th of May with phase 2 of the programme initially targeting people 60 years and older starting on the 17th.
The Minister says from June the batches of Pfizer will increase to an average of 636 000 doses weekly.
By Sunday evening, the cumulative number of COVID-19-related cases identified in South Africa over the last 24-hour reporting period stood at 1 584 064, with 1 222 new cases reported.
A total of 11 COVID-19 deaths have been reported, which brings the total to 54 417 deaths.
“Eastern Cape 1, Free State 5, Gauteng 1, Kwa-Zulu Natal 0, Limpopo 0, Mpumalanga 0, North West 0, Northern Cape 1 and Western Cape 3,” the Ministry reports.
The cumulative recoveries now stand at 1 507 778, representing a recovery rate of 95%. Below is the latest COVID-19 stats in SA:
Senior Researcher at CSIR Dr Ridhwaan Suliman looks at COVID-19 cases in South Africa in the past 7 days:
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson says it will ready to dispatch its vaccines from Gqeberha from mid-May. This after a prolonged approval process from the health product regulator, SAHPRA.
The authority is still analysing the Sinovac and Sputnik vaccines from China and Russia, respectively.
The department has encouraged all health workers including traditional healers to register to be vaccinated.