To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Saturday, 31July 2021
Acting Health Minister to welcomes delivery of US donated COVID-19 vaccines
Pretoria: The Acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi together with the Deputy Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla, this evening welcomed the first batch of 2.8 million Pfizer vaccine doses from the American Government, as part of the commitment made by US to donate COVID-19 vaccines to South Africa and other countries on the continent.
They were joined by Chargé d’ Affaires at the U.S. Mission Todd Haskell at the OR Tambo International Airport, where the consignment was handed over to the South African Government
The donation will contribute to the country’s expanded vaccination programme which is fast gaining momentum to reach more people. The vaccines would also be distributed to other countries in the continent through the African Union Commission “On behalf of our government and the people of South Africa, we appreciate the donation from the American Government, led by President Joe Biden.
This was a commitment made to President Cyril Ramaphosa as African Union Champion on Coronavirus COVID-19 and establishment of Commission on African COVID-19 response, to ensure equal access to vaccines as we collectively wage the war against the pandemic,” said Minister Kubayi.
This contribution comes timely for us as we prepare to move to younger age cohort of 18 in September, who are eager to get these live-saving vaccines. Today’s donation of these vaccines, contributes to security of supply to meet the demands we have to reach our set milestones and vaccinate a majority of the population soon.
The Minister added: “This is a single bilateral donation and shows the good relations between our two countries. It also demonstrates the seriousness of the US Government in sustaining the relationship.
Chargé d’ Affaires at the U.S. Mission, Mr. Todd Haskell, stated: “I am very proud that we are able to share these vaccine doses with South Africans and have no doubt that the medicines will help save many lives in this country.
“Over the years, through programs such as PEPFAR, the United States and South Africa have built one of the strongest bilateral health partnerships in the world, which is why our countries have been able to successfully work hand-in-hand since the very beginning of the pandemic to protect the health and safety of our citizens,” said Mr Haskell.
“South Africans know they can count on the United States, as a friend and partner, to support their efforts to fight the pandemic and get their economy back on track.”
Spokesperson for Acting Health Minister
Cell: 064 754 8426
Public Affairs Acting Spokesperson
US Embassy in South Africa
079 111 6723