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'W Cape can legally procure Covid-19 vaccines. Will share with rest of SA'

21 January 2021 9:41 AM

"It is too risky to rely on one supply from national government," says Premier Alan Winde. "We need 4.6m doses for the province."

Countries on every inhabited continent have started vaccinating their populations against Covid-19.

Israel leads the pack, having already vaccinated more than a third of its populace, followed by the UAE (22% of its population have been vaccinated).

The UK – right now the country with the worst daily Covid-19 death rate in the world – has vaccinated roughly 7.5% of its population.

The United States – the country with the most confirmed deaths due to Covid-19 (406 000) – has vaccinated almost 5% of its people.

In Africa, tiny Seychelles (ranked 178th in the world by GDP) on Tuesday announced that 10% of the island nation's population has already received their first shot of the Covid-19 jab.

Not a single vaccine has yet arrived in South Africa, the most developed country on the Continent.

© goodluz/123rf.com

RELATED: Pfizer tried for months to engage with SA to provide vaccines – verified leak


Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the arrival of the first batch is “days” away.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape provincial government says it is compelled by the Constitution to deliver effective health services, which implies procuring Covid-19 vaccines.

Premier Alan Winde has stated publicly that, despite the lack of detail from national government on the rollout, he will not hesitate to procure additional vaccines for the province if a safe, viable option arises.

“This would not only be for the benefit of the Western Cape, but also for the country as a whole,” said Winde.

“South Africa faces an enormous challenge in securing vaccines after being late to order them, and any additional vaccines secured should be viewed as positive assistance to our national cause.

“There is nothing in the law that prevents this, and it is morally and ethically the right thing to do.’’

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Winde about his intention to procure vaccines for the province and South Africa.

Legally… we can procure… if I can get another vaccine in, it means there’s another one that’s adding to the health of our country and our province.

Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape

Mass vaccination is key if the province's battered economy is to recover, says Winde.

We need 4.6 million doses for the province if we are to achieve herd immunity… Many people and businesses are happy to pay for their own needs and for others… The bulk of the funding will probably come from the private sector…

Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape

It is too risky to rely on a single supply from the national government.

Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape

Winde says he is confident he can secure enough vaccine supplies for the province, and these supplies would be shared with other provinces.

I am absolutely open to sharing vaccines we procure with other provinces…

Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape

If I get supply, I will link it in with Minister Mkhize… Obviously, I want the bulk to come to our province… If I can get more vaccines sooner, it’s obviously in the interest of South Africa… [because] It looks like we won’t have sufficient vaccines for South Africa this year…

Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape

I’ve had discussions with a number of suppliers… At the moment, everybody is demanding without much supply. If another 20 vaccines get approved, it’s going to be very different…

Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape

Winde says he is concerned by the sheer volume of vaccines ordered by rich countries, many of which bought enough vaccines to vaccinate their populations many times over.

Canada has three vaccines per citizen. The EU has ordered 1.8 vaccines per citizen… I’ve written to our partner provinces around the world… saying, 'If you have too many vaccines, we would like to purchase them from you'.

Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




21 January 2021 9:41 AM

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