The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on government to stop celebrating its procurement of coronavirus vaccines and instead focus on improving the implementation pace of its rollout programme.
The DA plans to approach the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to ask it to probe the government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Strategy, which according to the party, is extremely slow.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize recently said government’s target was to vaccinate 67% of the population by the end of this year.
However, all indications are that this deadline will be missed as it now plans to vaccinate 22 million people between November and February 2022.
DA Member of Parliament and Spokesperson on Health, Siviwe Gwarube, says the SAHRC must investigate, what she terms, government’s failure to uphold the rights of South Africans.
“There was always a target of healthcare workers that were meant to be reached but government failed to meet that. We are completely unimpressed and we are of the view that the Human Rights Commission must launch an investigation to look into the vaccine roll out of government up to now and also to look at whether or not, going forward, government will be fulfilling its mandate,” says Gwarube.
In the video below, Gwarube questions SA’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout:
According to the Health Department, over 272 000 healthcare workers in the country have been vaccinated thus far.
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) April 6, 2021
It comes amid concern among some experts that government’s pace of vaccine rollout will not delay the third wave of COVID-19 infections. Some experts say the country will need up to as many as 250 000 vaccines every single day over the next three to four months to meet its inoculation target.
Professor Tulio de Oliveira from the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform says the country needs to quickly move towards vaccinating the general population.
More of the Professor’s views in the video below: