Vaccine Will Only Be Given To 3% Of The Population
The Covax vaccine administered for the coronavirus is set to be delivered to South Africa by the first half of 2021, however it's said to only be enough for 3% of the population of the country.
The City Press reported that only a small fraction of South Africa's population will be receiving the Covax vaccine when it is made available in the country in 2021.
President Cyril Ramaphosa initially expected that 10% of the population would have received the vaccination against COVID-19 by July 2021, however Deputy director-general of health Dr Anban Pillay said in a webinar that all of the 190 countries receiving the vaccine will only receive enough to administer it to 3% of their populations by this time.
According to a study, at least a fifth of the world's population may not have access to the coronavirus vaccines until 2022. In 2021 wealthier countries will be reserving more than half of the year's potential doses. This presents fears that poorer countries will be left behind.
The study estimated that up to 40% of the vaccine courses provided by leading manufacturers could be available for low to middle income countries but have said that this would depend on how richer countries share what they have bought.
Countries including the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates have already begun rolling out the vaccines while South Africa has lagged behind on ordering doses from the vaccine developers.
South Africa is currently experiencing a second wave of infections with Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize reporting 10 939 new cases on Saturday, 19 December with 254 new deaths occurring over the past 24 hours. Mkhize told the City Press that the vaccine is expected to work against the new variation of COVID-19 that recently arrived in the country.
Frontline workers in the private and public sectors will be the first to receive the vaccine when it is made available.
South Africa as well as many other countries have joined a pooled purchasing mechanism called COVAX which is coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and vaccines alliance Gavi. This aims to ensure that all people across the globe will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of how wealthy they are.
The South African government has been criticized for missing its first payment deadline to secure COVID-19 vaccines on 15 December. The amount of R327 million is to be paid by the Solidarity Fund as a deposit to secure the Covax vaccines however the full amount of R2.2 billion will have to be paid for the vaccines. The government has not yet indicated where the balance of the funds will come from.
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