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SA missed a few tricks in acquiring COVID-19 vaccines - Schoub

If all goes according to plan, South Africa will receive the first shipment of a million coronavirus vaccines on Monday.

An NHS pharmacy technician holds a vial as she simulates the preparation of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine during a staff training session ahead of the vaccine's rollout on 8 December 2020. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Chairperson of the COVID-19 vaccine ministerial advisory committee, Professor Barry Schoub, has acknowledged that South Africa has wasted time when it comes to acquiring vaccines during the pandemic, and he said that the greed of wealthy countries was a contributor.

If all goes according to plan, South Africa will receive the first shipment of a million coronavirus vaccines on Monday.

Logistical plans are now under way to ensure that 1.25 million healthcare workers are given the jab without any major hiccups.

Schoub said that scientists were not good communicators and he appealed to the media to help by disseminating accurate information about COVID-19.

"Clearly, we did miss a few tricks but I think it's not very fruitful to look at where the blame should be. We're not alone. There countries, like Australia, who are only starting in March. France only has a fraction of theirs, only 1%, it's not that we're really that far behind."

He said that the second wave had affected more people but the severity did not seem to be different from the first variant.

"We look at the data of severity between the second and first wave per individual infected, it doesn't seem to be any different. It seems to be a universal thing. In the United Kingdom, their minister of health seems to imply that their variant causes a more severe disease but that's based on a few studies."

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