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Health department sells off last batches of AstraZeneca vaccines

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Published Mar 21, 2021


DURBAN - THE Department of Health has recuperated the funds used to purchase the batches of AstraZeneca vaccines.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the full purchase amount was received by the department on Monday last week.

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He announced that the AstraZeneca vaccines, acquired by SA in February, have been sold.

"In the past weeks the department has had to ensure that all member states identified by the African Union vaccine acquisition team as recipients of the vaccines, are compliant and have obtained all regulatory approvals, permits and licenses to roll out the vaccines in their respective countries," Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said.

He said the AU and South African teams then ensured that all logistical arrangements are in place for the shipment of the vaccines. The Minister is pleased to announce that the first batch of vaccines that is being delivered will benefit 9 member states.

“The balance will be collected this week to be delivered to five other countries," Mkhize said.

SA's shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in February however, government put the roll out on hold after data showed the vaccine gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country's dominant coronavirus variant.

It was also revealed that the 1.5 million doses of the vaccine received earlier this month, will expire in April.

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