Health Minister Says Vaccine Plan Is In Motion

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says that the South African government's plan to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine by the second quarter of 2021 is on track. 

South Africa could receive the Covid-19 vaccine by April next year said Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Mkhize says the government is doing everything it can to ensure that the vaccine arrives in the country by then. 

Mkhize says in the next couple of weeks the date for when the vaccinations will be administered will be announced but nothing has been confirmed yet. 

Mkhize says that the health department is also investigating the efficacy of 11 vaccines which are being processed and evaluated by various countries.  

"We are looking at which vaccine has a good efficacy report, [and is] available and affordable," said Mkhize. 

While Mkhize says that the plans are on track, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has questioned the delays in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan. He suspects that the missed payments for the COVAX initiative are the cause of delays in rolling out the vaccine by the second quarter of 2021. 

Mthandazo Ndlovu from Oxfam South Africa says insufficient details have been provided from the government to the general public in terms of what the government is doing to ensure that many lives are saved through the COVAX facility. 

A down payment of R283 million was made to the vaccines alliance Gavi to secure South Africa's entry into the COVAX facility and the country's entry has been confirmed by COVAX. This amount was funded by the Solidarity Fund and represents only 15% of the total cost of securing access to vaccines for 10% of the country's population.

Health workers and the elderly are set to be the first to receive the vaccines.

 

 

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