Therapy Areas: Vaccines
South Africa requests for delay in COVID-19 vaccine deliveries due to excess stock
24 November 2021 -

South Africa has asked US pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) to delay delivery of COVID-19 vaccines because it now has too much stock, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general of the Health Department, told Reuters that South Africa had 16.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in stock and said deliveries had been deferred.

A spokesman for the Health Ministry said: "We have 158 days' stock in the country at current use. We have deferred some deliveries."

It was not disclosed as to when deliveries would now take place.

South Africa's government has been seeking to boost the rate of daily administered doses. However, there is reportedly a fair amount of apathy and hesitancy.

So far, about 35% of South Africans are fully vaccinated, higher than in most other African nations, but half the government's year-end target.

The country has averaged 106,000 doses a day in the past 15 days in a nation of 60 million people.

Earlier this year the programme was slowed by insufficient doses. Now deliveries have been delayed due to oversupply, making South Africa an oddity in the continent where most are still starved of vaccines, Reuters noted.