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A vial with a Pfizer label is seen with a syringa and needle. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer has committed to sending 4.5 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to South Africa by June, with some 300,000 set to arrive Sunday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced.

Why it matters: South Africa is battling the worst coronavirus outbreak on the continent and has struggled with a low vaccine supply, per Bloomberg. The country is also grappling with a dangerous variant of the virus.

Details: Shipments of Pfizer doses will arrive in the country on a weekly basis until June, Mkhize said.

  • In addition to the Pfizer doses, South Africa expects for stocks of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine—the release of which paused last month following safety concerns—to be released by mid-May.

Go deeper: African countries struggle to deliver the few shots they've got

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Aug 10, 2021 - Health

Pediatric COVID hospitalizations soar

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More kids are landing in the hospital due to COVID and it's not yet clear if it's because the Delta variant is causing more serious illness in kids.

Why it matters: Hospitals are raising concerns about the increasing impact of COVID on kids at the same time schools around the country are preparing to head back for in-person instruction — many without the protection of vaccination or mask mandates.

Aug 9, 2021 - Health

Washington governor announces vaccine mandate for most state and healthcare workers

Washington state governor Jay Inslee in 2019. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced Monday that the state is instituting a vaccine mandate for most state employees and healthcare workers.

Why it matters: Inslee cited the state's surging COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations as impetus for the new policy.

Aug 10, 2021 - Health

Texas Gov. Abbott calls on hospitals to delay elective procedures as COVID cases surge

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced several new initiatives Monday to help address a surge in COVID-19 infections, including asking hospitals to delay nonessential medical procedures in order to free up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, and requesting out-of-state medical personnel to come help with the surge in cases.

Why it matters: Even as Abbott now makes moves to counter the coronavirus surge, he remains staunchly opposed to public health measures that would mitigate the virus' spread.

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