Vials labelled
Vials labelled "Moderna, Johnson&Johnson, Pfizer - Biontech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" are seen in this illustration picture. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc will ship 4.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to South Africa by June, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Sunday.

The first batch of 325,260 doses is arriving in the country Sunday night, Mkhize said, adding that they will be expecting same number of doses to arrive on a weekly basis.

“The vaccine supply will increase to an average of 636,480 doses weekly from 31 May which will see us accumulating close to 4.5 million doses by the end of June,” the statement added.

South Africa has secured 30 million doses of Pfizer’s two-shot vaccine.

The country’s health regulator also approved Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine in early April and the SA government has ordered 31 million doses of the one-shot vaccine.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Frances Kerry)