37 Covid-19 deaths for SA as government seals Pfizer vaccine deal

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

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Johannesburg - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed 37 more Covid-19 deaths, taking South Africa’s death toll to over 53 000.

He also said more than 272 438 healthcare workers had now been vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol.

In giving an update on the agreement with Pfizer, Mkhize said 20 million doses would be made available and the payment was expected to be made in the next few days.

The Health department also said the Johnson and Johnson deal had been fully concluded, with 200 000 more doses expected to arrive this week.

These doses would be used for vaccinating more healthcare workers as part of the Sisonke Protocol - an early access study.

“These doses will take us to the last mile of the Sisonke Protocol, which is set to become one of the most seminal studies in the history of the pandemic.

“Similarly, we will also embark on an implementation study with a limited number of Pfizer doses used amongst health care workers - this will be yet another valuable contribution to the science of mass vaccination.

“In preparation for the mass vaccination campaign, we have undertaken a deep study of the Sisonke Protocol to draw lessons from the programme and enhance the efficiency of future operations,” said Mkhize.

Meanwhile, the minister said they were revising their vaccination targets.

“These revisions will require extensive yet urgent consultation to ensure that the final programme expresses the will of the people.

“Upon completion of the ratification process, we will announce the details of the revised vaccination programme to the public and call on the first group of eligible citizens to register on the Electronic Vaccination System,” he said.

Meanwhile, of the 37 new deaths recorded on Tuesday, the Free State, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape had the most deaths - with 16, 9 and 8 deaths respectively.

This took SA’s Covid-19 death toll to 53032.

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