DA calls on govt to publicly release its COVID-19 vaccine plans

The party on Friday said securing a vaccine for South Africa should be government’s number one priority.

FILE: Professor Martin Veller (L), the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University), receives an experimental vaccine for COVID-19 coronavirus at the Respiratory & Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU) at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on 14 July 2020. Six senior clinicians in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University have volunteered to participate in South Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccine trial. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday called on government to release vaccine plans publicly.

ALSO READ: SA misses Covax payment deadline

The party said that securing a vaccine for South Africa should be government’s number one priority.

The Department of Health committed earlier that the delayed payment to the Covax programme would be finalised by National Treasury on Friday.

The department blamed an administrative glitch for the delay in payment for South Africa to participate in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVID-19 global vaccine access facility.

The DA said that government’s delay was jeopardising the country’s access to the vaccine.

“Very little detail has been shared on the timeline of the payment and actual procurement of the vaccine. Experts have warned that the transportation, storage and allocation of the vaccine is a complex process that should be developed and shared with the nation,” said DA MP and spokesperson on health, Siviwe Gwarube, in a statement.

READ: Health dept assures SA COVID-19 vaccine plan still on track

“We need not wait until we acquire the vaccine before we know and understand how government intends to navigate the complex terrain that South Africa is. We also have no idea what the prioritisation of the rollout of the vaccine will be,” she added.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.