Covid vaccines: Health workers can pay for dose via medical schemes, so why the delay?

29 December 2020 - 09:50
By TimesLIVE
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Image: Sebabatso Mosamo File image

The government need not pay for health workers to receive one of the potentially life-saving Covid vaccines, they just need to source it.

This is according to Wits health and social security systems specialist Prof Alex van den Heever.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday night that SA is expected to receive a batch of one of the vaccines in the second quarter of next year, instead of the first quarter as previously stated.

“It is very unclear as to why SA is only looking at maybe June, July when it's going to begin rolling out, when in fact when we will benefit right now from a rollout vaccination programme targeting front-line health-care workers,” he told eNCA.

“Government wouldn't even have to pay for it because all front-line health-care workers are on medical schemes, which means all we really require is access to a vaccine.”

Van den Heever said SA was very slow to get off the starting block while other developing countries such as Morocco, which had secured 65 million doses, were already rolling out vaccines.