Today's Labour News

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healthcareThe Citizen reports that the government is playing catch up on its national vaccination programme, with the Department of Health (DOH) announcing a revision of the country’s vaccine strategy, nearly a month before its delayed roll out.

After having secured a 20 million doses deal with Pfizer and concluding a Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine agreement ahead of the long-awaited vaccine rollout planned for May, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday that they had to revise the strategy for the vaccine programme. The DOH had planned on rolling out the second phase of the vaccine programme from 17 May to the end of July, targeting nearly 5.5 million people over the age of 60 years. Nonetheless, a DOH spokesperson said the revision of the strategy would not delay the planned rollout plan and it would include rolling out both the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines. However the revision could be due to not achieving the original goals set out by the government, said Professor Glenda Davison of the Cape Peninsula University. She pointed out that SA was nowhere near vaccinating the 1 million people the government had aimed to achieve by the end of March. Revising the strategy could mean running parallel programmes to vaccinate healthcare workers and the vulnerable simultaneously, she said. Meantime, there have been some calls for politicians to form part of the second vaccination phase. Professor Alex van den Heever of Wits University observed: “It appears that we are no longer prioritising high risk groups first, but legitimising queue jumping by politicians regardless of their risk status. Phase two is becoming a jumble of special interests.”

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Rorisang Kgosana at The Citizen (paywall access only)

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