Home South Africa News Govt’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan lack details & timelines, says Nehawu

Govt’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan lack details & timelines, says Nehawu

COVID-19 vaccine

Health workers union Nehawu has weighed in on the government’s ambitious plan to vaccinate 67,000 of the population against COVID-19 by December – warning the approach was scant on both detail and timelines.

The union said the plan announced by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize night did not set out a clear logistical roll-out for vaccination – with no details around how clinicians would be trained and no insight into the geographic layout for immunizations – especially for the vulnerable.

Nehawu agreed with experts that South Africa should have started negotiations with vaccine manufacturers long ago – and said the government was caught napping while the country faced a deadly pandemic that had killed millions of people across the world.

The union’s Zola Saphetha said that due to the government’s delay, the country now had to deal with scarcity issues while other countries forged ahead with protecting their citizens.

“Unfortunately they did not meet our expectations because we had thought that by now we might have concluded negotiations and engagements with manufacturers and those that are responsible for the vaccine,” said Saphetha.

“Because we had an opportunity to anticipate the second wave and we should have used that period of anticipation to engage.”

The union called for more transparency and urged the government to move with speed in its procurement processes.

It’s also demanding that the government engaged both Russia and China on emergency procurement of their vaccines for healthcare workers while waiting for the Covax delivery.

-EWN

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