South Africa says it’s got enough vaccines for 26 million people
London, Feb. 5, 2021 (AltAfrica)-South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in parliament on Friday that the country had secured enough COVID-19 vaccines for at least 26 million people.
Africa’s most industrialised economy aims to vaccinate 40 million people, or two-thirds of its population, to reach herd immunity.
Zweli Mkhize also confirmed the Covid-19 vaccines will be free and the government would not allow anyone to sell it on the black market.
#ListenToTheExperts— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) February 5, 2021
Will an elderly person with comorbidities be vaccinated against #Covid19? We asked Prof Barry Schoub, chair of the ministerial advisory committee on vaccines. pic.twitter.com/HXHeWXzFnT
This came after Mkhize warned they need to look at issues of theft and corruption in the distribution of the vaccines.
“We have to look at issues of theft on the ground. We believe because the vaccines are going to be free to the recipient and that government and medical aids are going to be paying for it, particularly the administration cost, and there shouldn’t be anyone who should be paying to get the vaccine.
Mkhize also told MPs on Friday his department wanted politicians to be the first in line to take the vaccines to end speculation and misinformation about the vaccines.
NFP MP Manzoor Shaik Emam said he was willing to be among the first politicians to take the vaccine.
“If there is going to be anybody paying for the vaccine, we need to question as to what is happening there. From where we sit, if there is no payment for the vaccine, it limits the involvement of the black market in this whole case,” said Mkhize.
He said the government was committed in pushing ahead with its plans to acquire more vaccines from other manufactures.
Mkhize said they are in discussion with a number of pharmaceutical companies in the supply of vaccines.
South Africa has recorded the most coronavirus infections and deaths on the African continent, and received its first shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India this week.
A health ministry presentation said the government had signed a term sheet for 9 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at $10 a dose.
One of the conditions for J&J’s vaccine was the establishment of a no-fault compensation system for adverse events, it said.
The presentation added that Moderna had offered the country 200,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine priced at $30-$42 a dose in the second quarter, with more doses available in the third quarter.