Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the deal to procure the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute in India was sealed before the new variant of the coronavirus was detected in South Africa.
A few days ago, Mkhize announced a halting on the rollout of the vaccine, much to the disappointment of 1.2 million healthcare workers who were desperately waiting to be vaccinated against the virus.
In the video below, Minister Mkhize briefs the media on the department’s vaccination plan:
This followed a clinical trial showing that the doses were ineffective in around 2000 patients, averaging around 31 years in age, infected with the newer variant of the virus.
These developments have sparked confusion and outrage, with opposition parties and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) accusing government of lacking foresight.
In the video below, Cosatu calls on President Ramaphosa to account on the procurement of AstraZeneca: