South Africa received its first batch of the Pfizer vaccine when 325,260 doses arrived at the O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, officials confirmed on Monday.
A sample of the doses will be tested for quality control before they are distributed around the country.
Several more deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in the coming weeks as South Africa expects nearly 4.5 million doses of the vaccine by the end of June and it expects 30 million doses by the end of the year. South Africa is also expecting delivery of 31 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for its mass vaccination campaign which aims to inoculate 40 million of South Africa's population of 60 million people by February 2022. So far South Africa has inoculated just over 317,000 of its 1.2 million health care workers.
South Africa has by far the most cases and deaths of COVID-19 in all of Africa. South Africa has a cumulative total of more than 1.58 million confirmed cases, including more than 54,000 deaths, representing more than Africa's 4.5 million reported cases, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention South Africa.