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DA to approach SAHRC to probe govt's slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy

The party said that this was in addition to the decision it took to explore further legal challenges against the South African government on the matter.

A health care worker at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital prepares a COVID-19 vaccination on the first day of the vaccine rollout to frontline workers on 17 February 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said that it would on Tuesday approach the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to urgently launch an investigation into what it called government’s "tardy and criminally slow" vaccine rollout strategy.

The party said that this was in addition to the decision it took to explore further legal challenges against the South African government on the matter.

READ: Health dept signs deal with Pfizer for 20m COVID-19 vaccine doses - report

DA Health spokesperson, Siviwe Gwarube, said that South Africa began its vaccine rollout exactly seven weeks ago with the Johnson & Johnson Sisonke trial.

"The Human Rights Commission must step and do what is right in terms of launching an investigation to ascertain whether this incredibly slow and tardy rollout strategy does not in effect constitute the violation of the right to health as is enshrined in the Constitution."

Gwarube said that to date, just over 269,000 healthcare workers had been vaccinated, which was a fraction of the target which had been downgraded to 600,000 from just over one million.

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