Covid-19 update: SA likely won't benefit from Pfizer's vaccine

Covid-19 update: SA likely won't benefit from Pfizer's vaccine

While the results for Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine are looking promising, a report indicates that it wouldn't be the vaccine of choice for warmer nations like South Africa. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

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Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine is showing 90% efficacy but a report has indicated that it is highly unlikely that it will become widely available locally.

While the world celebrates positive news amid the global pandemic, it seems as if SA will need to wait for a more viable option to become available.

Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the pandemic below:

Covid-19 update: SA likely won't benefit from Pfizer's vaccine

It remains highly unlikely that SA will have wide-spread access to the vaccine. Image: Pexels
Source: UGC

1. SA likely won't benefit from Pfizer vaccine

A report from Health24 has explained that South Africa likely won't have wide access to Pfizer and BioNTECH's Covid-19 which has shown highly positive results during late-stage trials.

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This is due to the face that the vaccine needs below freezing temperatures, a difficult feat in sunny SA.

The report indicates that large hospitals in the US are currently lining up to purchase highly expensive freezers that cost between R150 000 and R235 000 each while the company seeks out emergency approval for the vaccine.

This means that, save for a few highly specialised institutions, South Africans will need to wait for a more viable candidate.

The majority of local vaccines need to be kept between two and eight degrees Celsius, meaning that the majority of hospitals and clinics don't own one of these specialised freezers.

2. Mkhize on latest statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided South Africans with the latest Covid-19 statistics.

In a statement issued by the Department of Health on Thursday evening, Mkhize commented that:

"As of today, the cumulative number of detected COVID-19 cases is 744 732."
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In addition to the latest number of infections, the Minister also confirmed the recorded fatalities:

"Regrettably, 65 more deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 37, Free State 18, Gauteng 1, Kwa-Zulu Natal 1 and Western Cape 8. This brings the total of COVID-19 related deaths to 20 076."

Mkhize noted that recoveries now stand at 690 903 which translates to a recovery rate of 92,7%.

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that President Ramaphosa lauded a vaccine as a 'game-changer', confirming that the government is in talks to acquire an effective vaccine for the African continent.

Dr Zweli Mkhize and other citizens have been appointed as part of a task team aiming to acquire this vaccine in order for it to be accessible and to fundraise the billions this endeavour would require.

Agreements, according to Ramaphosa, are already in place to see an effective vaccine produced on South African soil.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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