South Africa signs deal for 20 million Pfizer COVID-19 doses

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Medical syringe is seen with Pfizer company logo displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on November 16, 2020. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Medical syringe is seen with Pfizer company logo displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on November 16, 2020. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

South Africa has signed an agreement with Pfizer Inc for 20 million dual shot COVID-19 vaccine doses, a government official told Reuters on Tuesday, boosting plans to start mass vaccinations from April.

The deal is in addition to the 31 million single-shot doses from Johnson & Johnson which the government approved on Thursday.

The first batch from Pfizer is expected to arrive later in April, Anban Pillay, Deputy Director-general at the Department of Health, told Reuters, but he did not comment on the price.

The government is buying the J&J vaccine for $10 per dose.

After the Pfizer deal, the government will have enough to vaccinate roughly 41 million people out of its total population of 60 million.

The country has also been allocated 12 million shots under the World Health Organization’s COVAX scheme and is likely to get doses for 10 million people from the African Union’s AVATT initiative.

It is not clear whether the COVAX and AVATT doses will be a single shot, dual shot or a mix of both.

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