South Africa has finally made a down payment to the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility. The R327 million has been paid according to the Solidarity Fund chairperson Gloria Serobe.

SA had missed the initial deadline to make the payment last week due to some bureaucratic red tape, causing some concern.

The COVAX facility with 190 countries signed on  is supposed to facilitate the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 drug.

The United Kingdom, a COVAX signatory, was the first to administer the vaccine publicly.

South Africa was then given until 22 December to make a payment – of which has now been met. The paying of the COVAX facility deposit comes as the country experiences its peak in the second wave of coronavirus infections.

The Health Department’s warning that there is a variant or strain of the virus which is more transmissible has alleviated concern.

Minister Zweli Mkhize says the new variant is causing the rapid spread of the coronavirus: 

The deposit is meant to secure vaccines for at least 10%  of the population.  The rollout of the vaccine is expected in the first half of next year.

The Health Department hasn’t given specifics of how and who will the first beneficiaries.

The WHO’s update on the coronavirus pandemic: