Government to make vaccine payment in mid-December: health department

04 December 2020 - 22:16
By kgaugelo masweneng AND Kgaugelo Masweneng
SA government vows to pay for Covid-19 vaccine by December 15. File photo.
Image: 123rf/Monchai Tudsamalee SA government vows to pay for Covid-19 vaccine by December 15. File photo.

The government says it is on track to sign an agreement and make a payment for the Covid-19 vaccine by December 15.

The health department said the county remains a member state of the COVAX facility and still holds its strategic position as co-chair of the access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), of which COVAX is a major component.

In order to secure enough doses to vaccinate 10% of our population, we will be required to make a down payment of R327,118,080, of which the Solidarity Fund has generously agreed to make this initial contribution.  

“We are concluding the memorandum of understanding between the Solidarity Fund and the national department of health in the next few days. The full cost of purchasing the doses required is estimated at R2,156,934,840,” said the statement, issued on Friday night.

 The COVAX facility is favoured because of it has been constructed to pool resources though a collaborative effort — in this case over 187 countries have committed to this initiative.

“This type of financial conglomeration enables us to negotiate reduced prices. There are currently 11 vaccines that have advanced to phase 3 clinical trials; of these 9 have entered into a partnership with COVAX,” said the statement.

The first batch of stock is expected to be in the country in the second quarter of 2021.  

“Some countries such as China and Russia have developed their own vaccines, while other countries have entered into bilateral agreements with individual companies. There are four candidate vaccines that have been studied in the SA population. These vaccines are produced by Astra Zeneca, Novavax, Johnson&Johnson and Pfizer/ BioNTech.” said the statement.