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Govt must clarify its plans to get COVID-19 vaccine to South Africa - HJI

The Health Justice Initiative has written letters to government ministers about the development of a plan to ensure affordable access to and equitable allocation of vaccines.

© yuragolub/123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The Health Justice Initiative (HJI) wants details of the government’s plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine to South Africa.

The organisation has written letters to government ministers about the development of a plan to ensure affordable access to and equitable allocation of these vaccines.

ALSO READ: SA records 4,173 new COVID-19 infections as WC battles a resurgence

HJI head, Fatima Hassan, on Thursday said most of the world’s COVID-19 supplies were snatched up by wealthy countries and the leftovers were being given in dribs and drabs to lower-income countries.

“We have requested information from the state about the vaccine access and allocation plans for South Africa. It is imperative that global leaders re-assert their authority and not let large profit-driven pharmaceutical companies dictate who would have access to the vaccine,” Hassan said in a statement.

“It is imperative that fair, reasonable, and equitable plans are developed now, with all stakeholders, especially because our Constitution requires that, and also because we have a two-tiered unequal health system.”

READ: Britain okays vaccine as global COVID death toll nears 1.5 million

Hassan said it was important for the public to know whether South Africa would be able to afford the vaccines, and if so, how many doses the country would have access to.

“We are concerned about government’s readiness in relation to the access and allocation of COVID-19 vaccines because of the predicted high pricing, global shortages, and high demand, which may even require rationing. And the determination of an equitable allocation of such vaccines within South Africa in light of the dual nature of our unequal health system and the vast disparities in access to the right to healthcare.”

The government is yet to respond.

Listen to Fatima Hassan’s interview on CapeTalk below:

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