Ramaphosa: Govt still concluding COVID-19 vaccine deals

It’s only a matter of time before South Africa receives its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines and now President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to allay fears that government was lagging behind in bringing the treatment to our shores

Ramaphosa: Govt still concluding COVID-19 vaccine deals

President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured South Africans that government is hard at work in securing a COVID-19 vaccine.

In his second newsletter for the year, Ramaphosa outlines the latest efforts to procure COVID-19 vaccines and also allays fears from those who are less than confident in government’s ability to preside over the pandemic.

“There has been concern that government has not been sufficiently transparent about these efforts. However, as we did with the announcement on the Serum Institute, the details of deals with manufacturers will be released as and when negotiations are concluded and we are released from the communications terms of the non-disclosure agreements. This is commonplace in such circumstances, and most governments have had to comply with similar restrictions,” he said.

Ramaphosa maintains that contrary to criticism, government has been transparent about its COVID-19 vaccine plans.

The country is due to procure 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII). The COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy will be in various phases. The first to arrive will be prioritised for healthcare workers, while the second phases will be for essential workers, teachers, the elderly and those with co-morbidities. The third phase will include other adults in the population.

“A comprehensive rollout strategy and an accompanying logistical framework will be implemented in partnership with the private sector, civil society, traditional leadership, the religious sector and others. It is vital that this is a society-wide campaign, in which everyone is involved and no-one is left behind,”

President Cyril Ramaphosa

The president further added that government has been working closely with the global COVAX facility and the African Union’s Vaccine Acquisition Task Team as part of the collective effort to secure vaccines for the world’s low and middle-income countries. South Africa has forked out R327 million towards the securing of vaccines, with the facility.

Ramaphosa: We have always been transparent about COVID-19 vaccine

Further responding to the criticism, Ramaphosa said as government, they recognise that the public needed to constantly be in the know, as far as the acquisition of a COVID-19 vaccine is concerned. He said they have sought to listen to people’s concern, give updates on the pandemic and also explain their decisions.

“Throughout the pandemic, government has been open and transparent with the South African people on the health measures it is taking to secure our people’s safety. We have sought to explain all our decisions, to listen to people’s concerns and to continuously update the country on the state of the disease,” he said.

“When it comes to fighting a deadly pandemic like this, honesty and trust are just as valuable as any vaccine”

Source : The South African More