Home South African SA is not returning the AstraZeneca vaccines, says Mkhize

SA is not returning the AstraZeneca vaccines, says Mkhize

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“The AstraZeneca doses we purchased have been offered to the African Union platform, of which we are part of, and the AU will distribute to those countries who have already expressed interest in acquiring the stock.”

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

HEALTH Minister Zweli Mkhize has denied that government is returning the one million AstraZeneca vaccines doses it received from the Serum Institute of India.

This follows earlier reports that the country would send back the consignment it got a few weeks ago to inoculate people.

Speaking during the debate on the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, Mkhize said: “We would also like to categorically refute the speculation in the media that we have returned the stock to India, we have not.

“The AstraZeneca doses we purchased have been offered to the African Union platform, of which we are part of, and the AU will distribute to those countries who have already expressed interest in acquiring the stock. Therefore, please be assured there will be no wasteful and fruitless expenditure.”

Mkhize said they would continue with efforts to ensure they reach herd immunity.

The government had said it wants to vaccine 40 million people, or 67% of the population, by the end of the year.

The government has announced that it is speaking to a number of pharmaceutical companies to supply South Africa with vaccines.

Political Bureau