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First batch of CoronaVac vials expected to land in SA before end of July

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South Africa could receive its first batch of the newly approved CoronaVac before the end of July.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approved the use of the Chinese double dose vaccine in the country on Saturday.

Sinovac-Numolux has committed to provide the nation with five million vials of its CoronaVac vaccine.

The first consignment of 2.5 million vials is set to arrive by the end of July, however, Numolux COO Anton Arendse said this could happen before then.

“We could get it sooner, but all of it remains contingent on the Department of Health concluding a contractual agreement with ourselves. The sooner we get that done, the sooner we get the logistics sorted out, the sooner we can get the vaccine here.”

Arendse said the news of SAHPRA’S approval comes at the most opportune time, as the country grapples with a third wave.

“It’s been more than a year that we’ve been talking about vaccines and the rollout and for us to be sitting at 3 million with a population of just under 60 million, for us the important thing is herd immunity and breaking the back of this pandemic.”

The Chinese embassy in the country said it would continue to assist and accommodate government to ensure the Chinese-made vaccine got delivered as timeously as possible.

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