Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
28 Aug 2021
9:45 am

Covax to the rescue as 2.2 million Pfizer vaccine doses to arrive in SA

Citizen Reporter

The arrival of the vaccine doses will help ensure the country has a more stable supply of the vaccine. 

A consignment of 2.8 Million Pfizer vaccine doses at the OR Tambo International Airport on 31 July 2021. Picture for illustration: Twitter

A further 2.2 million Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses are expected to arrive in South Africa on Saturday, thanks to a donation by the US via the Covax facility. 

The arrival of the vaccines was confirmed by health minister Joe Phaahla on Friday. 

Phaahla said the arrival of the vaccine doses would help ensure the country has a more stable supply of the vaccine. 

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The country received 5.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses last month. 

Although more Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses are needed, the department said the priority at this stage was to ensure all willing South African adults get a vaccine dose.

“At this stage, our priority is to make sure that we reach immunity population coverage,” Phaahla said.

Will the vaccine become mandatory? 

Phaahla said although government was “very reluctant” to venture into creating a mandatory vaccination policy, it is being discussed. 

He said in his view, he did not foresee a regulation to force everyone to get vaccinated. 

“But what is possible and what we consider is that where various service providers or areas of entertainment or where people obtain services or even workplaces… there is a possibility that a locally determined requirement can be [made].”

More and more American companies are looking at mandatory vaccinations for employees – and customers, AFP reported.

Since June, when banking giant Morgan Stanley and asset manager BlackRock said employees wishing to come into the office would have to provide proof of vaccination, other major companies had made the leap to requiring shots.

Google, Facebook and Uber all joined the vaccination mandate bandwagon.

“Do what I did last month: Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements,” President Joe Biden said Monday.

In late July, he had offered federal employees a choice: show proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing.

Compiled by Nica Richards. Additional reporting by AFP

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