“It’s also my pleasure to announce that the following batch of 80,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines will arrive this Saturday. Our health-care employees, who’re our front-line troopers and important defence in preventing this virus, haven’t been spared the devastating results of the second wave in SA, pushed by the 501Y.V2 variant,” he mentioned.
With greater than 54,685 well being employees who had been contaminated with Covid-19 within the public sector and 779 having died, Mkhize mentioned it was essential for them to be vaccinated first as they had been three to 4 occasions extra more likely to contract the virus.
“For them, vaccination represents hope, reduction from the unrelenting pressures of this pandemic. It’s for these causes that we did every thing in our energy to make sure that key developments within the traits of the virus didn’t derail us from our plans to start vaccination in February.
“We had been by no means asleep, we selected a technique that was guided by science as we didn’t have the monetary muscle to make unhedged bets,” mentioned Mkhize.
MPs expressed a spread of considerations, together with concerning the nation’s means to retailer the vaccines at appropriate temperatures, the financing of the vaccines, procurement processes, corruption, potential theft and an over-reliance on different international locations.
Mkhize responded to some considerations however shunned others.
“Our strategy has paid off as we’ve got been capable of be nimble and [be] exact across the tough problem of the variant. The procurement of the vaccines has been a posh course of that required negotiations with multinational producers of vaccines within the face of vaccine nationalism and protectionism,” he mentioned.
“Only in the near past, it was introduced that greater than 133 poor international locations throughout the globe haven’t obtained a single dose of the vaccine — primarily as a result of the richer international locations have used their monetary muscle to acquire vaccines on danger and much in extra of what they want. Be that as it could, even these international locations now battle to get the suppliers to satisfy their obligations as world manufacturing capability is examined past its limits,” he mentioned.