Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has confirmed that the Western Cape government is in talks with manufacturers of vaccines to combat the coronavirus and is seeking to procure them independently of government.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the first tranche of vaccines is expected to arrive in South Africa this month, with the government working on securing more doses.

Steenhuisen says the national government should work with the Western Cape and the private sector.

“The primary focus of any government is to keep its citizens safe and I, sincerely, hope that the national government starts to realise that going at it alone is not going to resolve the issue; that they going to have to adopt a broader society approach partner with provincial governments and partner with the private sector to get as many vaccines as possible into South Africa, so you can vaccinate as many people as possible. Obviously, you know any vaccine before it can be rolled out here would have to go through SAHPRA approval. You wouldn’t be able to bring in and roll out a vaccine had it not gone through SAHPRA approval. ”

The government plans to go on a massive vaccination programme. It aims to vaccinate South Africans in three phases.

  • Phase 1 will prioritise around 1.2 million front line healthcare workers.
  • Phase 2 will prioritise essential workers such as teachers, police, municipal workers, and other frontline personnel. Institutions like old age homes, shelters, and prisons, people over 60 years of age, and adults with co-morbidities will also be prioritised. The total number of people expected to be reached in this phase is around 16 million people.
  • Phase 3 will then vaccinate the remaining adult population of approximately 22.5 million people.

Minister Zweli Mkhize says the public will be given more information about the vaccine: