President Cyril Ramaphosa says a partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) will ensure that the country gets a good price for vaccine doses to combat coronavirus.

The President said he was trying to address the concerns about government’s handling of the procurement. Health officials are reported to have cancelled at least one meeting with global pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson. The company reportedly reached out to officials in August last year to initiate discussions around the local manufacture and trialling of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Speaking in an interview SABC News, Ramaphosa said South Africa was working with other developing countries to acquire further vaccines.

“Many developing countries  like ourselves we became a part of this, led by the World Health Organisation – we couldn’t get a better partner or leader as the WHO. So that on its own is going to see us get a good number of vaccines, at a good price because when they negotiate for a large number and the amount, the price comes down.”

Discussion on South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy:

The first batch of vaccine will arrive in South Africa from India this month:

‘SA will win fight against COVID-19’

Ramaphosa has also reiterated his confidence that South Africans will win the fight against the pandemic.

“So many South Africans have joined in the fight against COVID-19. From individuals to organisations, churches, traditional leaders, political parties; you name it, are we well equipped. I would say that we have been getting equipped as we have been confronting this challenge; we had a lockdown initially so we can be better prepared.”

SABC speaks to ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa post January 8 Statement:

Ramaphosa to meet Coronavirus Command Council

Earlier, Ramaphosa said the Coronavirus Command Council will meet with Health MECs on Sunday ahead of January 15th when the Alert Level 3 lockdown regulations will be reviewed. 

He says the council is concerned about the rapid increase in new coronavirus cases.

“The National Coronavirus Council has met and we are now going to meet with our provinces tomorrow, after that cabinet will also look at some of the recommendations coming from our net-joints, our Health Department and it is then that we would be able to make a determination and announce it to the nation. We are concerned about the continuing spike in infections.”

South Africa’s COVID-19 cases are now standing at 1 192 570 and the death toll is 32 425.