The Western Cape government is working on procuring its own supply of a COVID-19 vaccine despite Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize saying that the Department of Health would have total control over vaccine purchases in the country last week.
The province’s plan was announced by health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo at a parliamentary health portfolio committee briefing on Wednesday, January 13, according to IOL.
“The premier [Alan Winde], in his capacity as provincial commander of the council for Covid-19, has been engaging with suppliers and also with various other stakeholders with regard to the issue of vaccines,” said Mbombo.
Mbombo told Members of Parliament that the province was sure there would come a time where it would need to “expand beyond some of the priorities the nation has provided for”.
The MEC listed the experience gained from procuring TB medication, antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS treatment and other medicine that have a centralised procurement process.
“If something happens in regard to challenges we always make it a point that we have a plan B and that is crucial,” Mbombo said.
The province’s announcement seemingly contradicts Minister of Health’s Zweli Mkhize’s declaration that the Department of Health would be the sole purchaser of vaccines in the country. Mkhize said this when he detailed the nation’s vaccine rollout strategy on January 3.
The Western Cape announced its provincial vaccination plan on Wednesday [January 13].
“We have already started the work to put the correct systems in place to manage this massive operation,” said Alan Winde.
The first of 1.5-million COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the country by the end of January and more are expected at the close of the following month.
As of Wednesday, January 13, the Western Cape has 39 491 active cases, 3528 hospitalisations and 8628 deaths.
The recovery rate is approximately 80%, as 197 224 out of 245 343 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have recovered from the virus.
Picture: Facebook/WC Health MEC French Mbombo