'We should be doing better': Maimane suggests ways to improve 'disastrous' vaccine rollout

12 May 2021 - 11:30 By unathi nkanjeni
Mmusi Maimane has criticised the speed at which vaccines are administered under the programme adopted by the SA government. File photo.
Mmusi Maimane has criticised the speed at which vaccines are administered under the programme adopted by the SA government. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane is the latest politician to lambaste SA's vaccine rollout, claiming the government is failing the people. 

On Tuesday, Maimane criticised the speed at which vaccines were administered under the programme adopted by the SA government.

Maimane highlighted how SA had the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Africa but didn't even make the top 10 list of countries with an efficient vaccine plan.  

To date, SA has 1,599,272 confirmed Covid-19 cases and the number of vaccines administered is 414,372.

According to Statista, Seychelles is the top country in the continent with the most administered vaccine doses per 100 people, followed by Morocco and Mauritius. SA is number 27 on the list.

“The vaccine rollout has been a disaster and the government is not delivering. Other African states are far ahead of us and that is unacceptable,” said Maimane. 

Maimane suggested the government should learn from the US's delay in restricting travel from China last year and limit travel from India. 

“One of the identified accelerators of Covid-19 spread in places like the USA in 2020 was the delay in restricting travel from China. We must learn from history and from past mistakes,” he said.

The former DA leader said SA needs to benchmark its vaccine process and measure it based on its own standards and what other African countries are doing.

“In governance and business, you assess performance on two factors, your capacity and industry performance. We must benchmark and we must be able to measure progress based on our own standards and what our African peers are doing. We should be doing better with our programme,” he said.

The second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is set to kick off on May 17 until October 17 and will prioritise people 60 years and older. 

Last week, SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) chairperson Prof Helen Rees spoke on the speed of the rollout, saying the real challenge will be the pace at which people are vaccinated to curb the spread of the virus. 

Speaking on Power 98.7, Rees said a third wave of infections may cause a “dent” in the vaccination process.  

“It is also going to make a dent if we experience a third wave if we have vaccinated more people. By vaccinating people we’re also going to have an impact on emerging variants, so getting this now is incredibly important. The real question is how quickly can we roll them out,” she said. 


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