Health Experts Sets Record Straight on SA COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement

Written by on 31 December, 2020

Leading experts in South Africa’s vaccine procurement strategy say while securing a COVID-19 vaccine is top of the country’s agenda, it is not a magic bullet that will end the pandemic.

Ministerial Advisory Committee chairperson on vaccine development Professor Barry Schoub, together with the Health Department Deputy Director General, Dr Anban Pillay, and South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) extramural unit researcher, Safura Abdool Karim, engaged in a panel discussion on the COVID-19 vaccine outlook in 2021.

The panel discussion on vaccine procurement comes as South Africa recorded its highest daily infections, with 17 710 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the country’s cumulative total to 1 039 161.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said SA would get the vaccine only in the second quarter.

South Africa is set to receive initial vaccines from the COVAX facility to cover 10% of its population in the early part of 2021.

Priority of the vaccine roll out will begin with healthcare workers, the elderly and those with comorbidities.

Karim has dispelled  misconceptions that government failed to procure the vaccine on time and the historic inequity within the procurement of medicine.

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Furthermore, Pillay says South Africa wants to acquire a vaccine with the best efficacy, which will be easily stored for mass roll out.

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