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DA wants an urgent parliamentary debate on SA’s COVID-19 vaccination plan

Image: [File Photo] Reuters

South Africa is expected to receive the first batch of vaccines this month.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has written to the National Assembly Speaker, Thandi Modise, requesting an urgent debate regarding the country’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

The party claims that the media briefing, held by health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday, on the vaccine rollout raises more questions than it answers.

Mkhize addresses webinar on COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Strategy for South Africa:

DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone, added that they want an ad hoc committee to be formed to monitor the vaccine rollout.

She says Parliament has a critical role to play on this issue, adding that government had dropped the ball.

In another development, the party’s Spokesperson on Health, Siviwe Gwarube, says the party will submit a PAIA application to obtain a detailed plan to ensure the integrity of the vaccine rollout.

Herd immunity

Mkhize told a webinar last night that a minimum of 67% of SA’s population will be vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity.

According to the Health Department’s vaccine rollout strategy, three phases of vaccination will be observed. Healthcare workers would be vaccinated first, followed by essential workers and people over 60 and those with co-morbidities in the second phase.

The rollout is expected to begin in April, but the government hopes to be able to start it sooner.

“COVID is in place, we’re hoping that it will be able to deliver by April. This earlier delivery, here we are taking our chance, we’re fighting, we are negotiating, we are trying everything we can. Right now we are dealing with about four companies that we are targeting because of various advantages. For example, Moderna, Pfizer, those have shown to have high efficacy and we’ll then engage them to see is it that can be found,” says Mkhize.

The Health Minister has warned that the COVAX agreement will only cover 10% of the population.

He says the government will have to raise money to cover the remaining 57% who need to be vaccinated.

Head of Internal Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Bulie Magula, reacts to government’s vaccine plan: 

COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan:

In the video below, South African experts discuss COVID-19 vaccines:

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