ASTRAZENECA VACCINE TENDER A DISASTROUS SETBACK FOR SOUTH AFRICANS
For immediate release
10 February 2021
The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) is disappointed in the government’s recklessness in procuring the COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca). South Africa recently procured about one and a half million doses of the jab bought for healthcare workers. They were due to start getting their vaccinations this week. It is found that the vaccine offers “minimal protection” against mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 at the same time expiring on the 30 April 2021.
It is never a surprise with our government and poor planning. The government has shown poor management record. During the pandemic, the government has repeatedly proven that it is not competent to take the lead. This incompetence has led to the delay of research on the AstraZeneca vaccine to treat a new strain of the virus that is currently prevalent in the country. We have also spent more effort and taxpayer money, keeping people from beaches and then procuring a lifesaving vaccine for them that will not expire early.
South Africa failed to get its act together on the vaccine, meaning there were short cuts in the vaccine procurement as it is the cheapest and the most readily available Covid-19 vaccine available globally at present.
NUPSAW is concerned that the country is likely to be faced with having no vaccine or one that will probably protect against death and hospitalisation. It shows we should be preparing for the worst-case scenario in our healthcare system as we anticipate the third wave or lack of cold supply chains once we procure the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as we are currently having challenges with weak and underdeveloped infrastructure.
NUPSAW demand transparent and accountable procurement of the AstraZeneca vaccine and any other vaccines we are to procure. Added to this is the question of endemic corruption we have previously reported that needs to be combated. We need to see the arrests of politicians for their crime.
NUPSAW Media Officer
083 712 1614