Mkhize announces 20 million Pfizer vaccine deal

By Nicola Daniels Time of article published Apr 8, 2021

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Cape Town - TWENTY million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are set to hit South African shores as Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced a deal has been signed and payment processes were under way.

“With the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) agreement also fully concluded, this sets the stage for a significant and rapid expansion of our vaccination programme,” he said.

The final tranche of 200 000 J&J doses for the Sisonke Protocol are expected to arrive on April 10.

As with the J&J vaccine, an implementation study would also be done with a limited number of Pfizer doses used among healthcare workers.

Upon review of the Sisonke trial, the mass vaccination campaign would be reviewed, said Mkhize.

“Upon deeper inspection and reflection, the Department of Health has worked on a revised strategy to ensure that the vaccination campaign targets the most pressing public health and the economic relief that vaccination should achieve. These revisions will require extensive yet urgent consultation to ensure that the final programme expresses the will of the people.”

Meanwhile, the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) concluded South Africa's first Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Campaign Industry Framework Agreement, covering the domestic clothing industry.

The agreement commits the employer and trade union parties to the clothing bargain council to play a supportive role in the rollout campaign.

Specifically, the parties committed to working with the government to encourage industry leaders and employees to take the vaccine, help debunk myths about the vaccine, and develop a customised industry registration application for the vaccine rollout.

The industry also aimed to set an "industry immunity target" Covid-19 vaccine administration achievement rate of 80% of all employees.

It furthers aims to set up an information helpline for industry employees, about the vaccine and its related rollout processes; develop a customised workplace guideline plan in how to facilitate the vaccine rollout, and to make it available to all workplaces in the industry.

“The Framework Agreement was concluded with all of the five clothing industry employer associations which are party to the clothing industry bargaining council, and its coverage is national. Sactwu will now turn its attention to secure similar Framework Agreements in the textile, leather, distribution, agriculture and other sectors where we are organised,” Sactwu general-secretary, André Kriel said.

As of April 6, the number of healthcare workers vaccinated was 272 438.

Cape Times

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