Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says that while the provincial government is excited about national government’s procurement of 1.5 million vaccine doses, it will accept vaccines if it is able to secure more of them.
“The number of doses announced as being secured thus far is not enough for the general population. It would therefore be irresponsible for our government, which does have a health competency under the Constitution, to sit back and do nothing.
“As part of our due diligence as a provincial government, we will, of course, accept vaccines if we are able to secure more of them,” he said.
City Press reported last week that Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that South Africa had secured 1.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneza vaccine through the Serum Institute of India, one of the world’s largest vaccine producers.
In addition, the first one million are expected to be delivered this month.
Winde added that this would not only be for the benefit of the Western Cape, but for the country as a whole.
“South Africa faces an enormous challenge in securing vaccines after being late to order them, and any additional vaccines secured should be viewed as positive assistance to our national cause,” he explained.
The premier further added that the provincial government would follow all regulatory processes if any vaccines were secured and ensure that they would be SAHPRA (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority) approved.
“The truth is that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on this country and vaccines are an important tool in managing the impact of this virus.
“Vaccines can save lives and as a caring and responsible government, we must be doing everything we can to ensure that we secure as many doses as possible as quickly as possible,” he concluded.
The national health ministry’s daily statistics on Wednesday, 13 January 2020, for the Western Cape had recorded a total of 248 339 Covid-19 cases in the province, with 197 224 recoveries and 8 642 deaths.