covid 19 vaccine south africa
Photo: SA News

With many initiatives around the world to speed up the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and the UK announcing yesterday that it has approved the Pfizer vaccine for widespread use, President Cyril Ramaphosa has tonight assured South Africans that the SA government is working with its partners to ensure all countries have access to the vaccine.

“We continue to collaborate with our partners in the international community to ensure that all countries have access to an effective and affordable vaccine,” the President said in his address to the nation on the country’s risk-adjusted response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The address followed a special sitting of Cabinet, which considered recommendations of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) meeting.

“We are participating in the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility – known as the COVAX Facility – which aims to pool resources and share vaccine development risk, and thus ensure equitable access to vaccines when they become available,” President Ramaphosa said.

Solidarity Fund Will Contribute R327-Million Towards South Africa’s Vaccine Procurement

The Solidarity Fund will be making the initial contribution of R327 million towards the vaccine procurement on behalf of the country, said the President.

“We are also encouraged by the promising results from three trials of candidate vaccines, which have shown efficacy levels of between 70% and 95%. We await confirmation from medicine regulators that these vaccines are safe, effective and suitable for our needs,” President Ramaphosa said.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) will review the approval applications when received from the developers and authorise their use.

The President warned that until a vaccine is developed and distributed, “we remain our own best protection against COVID-19.” –