Madonsela weighs in on Covid-19 vaccine rollout: 'We should be concerned, but it's not as bad as it looks'

06 January 2021 - 11:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says behavioural change is important to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says behavioural change is important to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Image: Esa Alexander

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says government should not put all its hopes on a Covid-19 cure, and instead emphasis prevention to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking on CapeTalk on Tuesday, Madonsela said behavioural change was important to curb the spread of the virus.

She said while SA should be concerned ahead of the rollout of vaccines, “it is not as bad as it looks”. 

She did, however, admit "government could have managed the situation better”.

“The Disaster Management Act requires a collaborative approach where provinces are not consulted but are included. There is a difference between collaborating and consulting. 

“We should not have a situation where all answers come from government quarters because the coronavirus is an unusual challenge and we should all be putting on our thinking hats.”

A vaccine is expected to roll out in SA between March and the end of the year.

This week President Cyril Ramaphosa told Bloomberg that Pfizer and BioNTech offered to supply Africa with 50m vaccines for health workers. He said the cost of Pfizer’s vaccines are “prohibitive”.

Speaking on Sunday, health minister Zweli Mkhize said government was committed to rolling out vaccines with urgency to establish herd immunity against Covid-19.

He said government planned to make vaccines available to all South Africans, and it was targeting 67% of the population in its strategy to establish herd immunity.

Mkhize said the rollout of vaccines would be done in three phases:

  • phase one would focus on front line health workers with a target population of 1.25m; 
  • Phase two would include essential workers with a target population of 2.5m, people older than 60 (5m), people older than 18 with co-morbidities (8m) and people in congregate settings (1.1m);
  • Phase three would target other people older than 18 with a target population of 22.5m.

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