Government has secured a deal to receive 20 million vaccines from Pfizer.
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize said the payment process is currently underway, as government aims to close the deal soon.
“We can also confirm that the final tranche of 200 000 Johnson & Johnson doses for the Sisonke Protocol is expected to arrive on 10 April 2021. 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,” said Minister Mkhize.
The Minister also confirmed government is making progress with the Johnson&Johnson vaccine agreement.
“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.”
The Sisonke Programme is for healthcare workers who previously volunteered to be vaccinated before the Johnson&Johnson vaccine was officially licensed.
“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,” said the Minister.
On 1 April, the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) officially licensed the Johnson&Johnson vaccine.
SAHPRA CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela said the licensing of the vaccine followed data submitted by Johnson&Johnson between 11 December 2020 and 17 March 2021.
“The authorisation is, however, subject to a number of conditions which includes that the vaccine is supplied and administered in accordance with the National Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination plan and applicable guidelines.
“Further conditions relate to the reporting of the results of ongoing studies and conformance with pharmacovigilance activities as outlined in the approved risk management plan, including the submission of periodic safety updates,” said Semete-Makokotlela .