World Bank loan will be used to pay for COVID vaccines - Health Dept

The World Bank has approved a R7.6 billion loan for South Africa's COVID-19 emergency response project.

Vials and syringes of the Johnson and Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine are displayed for a photograph at a Culver City Fire Department vaccination clinic on 5 August 2021, in California. Picture: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Health Department said that most of the funds acquired through a World Bank loan would be used to pay for current and previous stock of COVID-19 vaccines.

The World Bank has approved a R7.6 billion loan for South Africa's COVID-19 emergency response project.

Government requested the loan to help boost its vaccine procurement contracts.

So far, half of the country's adult population has been immunised against the virus.

Department spokesperson, Foster Mohale: "As we know, the country and the global community are not out of the woods yet. This injection of additional financial resources secured through the World Bank will go a long way in protecting the lives and the livelihoods of our people against this life-threatening challenge."

Mohale has again urged South Africans to come forward for COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots.

"In order to enhance the level of immunity against the current and future variants of concern as the country is getting closer to achieving population immunity, the vaccine remains the best weapon against COVID-19 and we cannot afford to lose even a single dose because of hesitancy," Mohale said.