KZN SACP concerned about ‘degree of secrecy’ around COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan

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The South African Communist Party (SACP) in KwaZulu-Natal has raised concerns about what it says is the government’s non-disclosure on how it plans to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine.

The party held a virtual media briefing following its strategic meeting attended by its structures in the province. The African National Congress (ANC) ally also warned the ruling party that should it derail from mutually agreed councillor candidate selection process, it would stop supporting it during this year’s municipal elections.

The SACP in KwaZulu-Natal says the provincial government should disclose and communicate its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan. The party says it will keep an eye on the Department of Health to ensure fair and equitable vaccination process that does not exclude certain people.

“Whether we are satisfied with government’s preparation plans on the vaccine rollout, the response to that is no!  There is very little that we know. That is why we said that there is a degree of secrecy on how the government intends to roll out the vaccination. We have resolved to call for a meeting with the Premier and the Department of Health so that they can actually explain to us how they are going to go about with the rollout plan for the vaccination of the population,” says Themba Mthembu, SACP KZN provincial secretary.

The party also warned its alliance partner to ensure a transparent process in the councillor candidate selection process to avoid mushrooming of independent candidates.

Mthembu says the SACP will not support the ANC where candidates have been imposed on communities.

“We will be supporting the ANC in the forthcoming elections. But it is qualified. We said should there be a situation where candidates are imposed on communities, we are not going to agree with the ANC on that imposed candidates, instead, we will align ourselves with the community and whoever will be preferred by the community,” says Mthembu.

Meanwhile, the party in the province also raised their concerns about the dysfunctional state of some municipalities and the water shortages in many areas.

Vaccine effectiveness

On briefing, the media on the country’s plan to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, Prof Salim Abdool Karim co-chair of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee says preliminary results of an ongoing study by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, shows that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have proven effectiveness against the COVID-19 variant.

He says data of the AstraZeneca vaccine’s efficacy is expected to be released in the coming days. Karim also said that the vaccine will be administered free of charge.

COVID-19 Pandemic | Vaccines to be administered free of charge: Karim

The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in South Africa on Monday from the Serum Institute in India