PRETORIA, 09 February 2021It’s rather appalling that the government’s oversight in procuring the first batch of vaccines, which arrived in the country just over a week ago, will expire soon, leaving no time for effective roll out of phase one for healthcare workers and essential services. The silver lining of the AstraZeneca setback is that we haven’t started vaccinating yet and can choose a vaccine that works on the variants.

Furthermore concerning, is the double pricing paid to secure the vaccine and the lack of transparency in availing the clinical trial data for public scrutiny. The fact that the government conducted a secondary study to determine efficacy against the new (dominant) variant is good scientific rigor and for this we applaud Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize and his team.

We are fighting a virus that is rapidly changing, it is important for civil society, together with the government, to engage on a new roll out plan which must encompass a research component. In an ever evolving landscape civil society and inter alia our communities should have been meaningfully involved early on. 

The one million doses would have been distributed by the time they expire, it is just the ineffectiveness of the vaccine against new variants that somewhat renders them useless. They can still be used but just not effective against mild symptoms in young adults.

The misinformation and conspiracy theories being peddled on various platforms, will see heightened vaccine resistance. The first thing we ought to do is share our scientific findings on AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy with the  entire African continent. 

As civil society, we want to express appreciation for the local scientific data on vaccines. It’s really commendable that South African scientists who have generated local data on these vaccine trials, are now able to inform local policy decisions on the most ideal combination of vaccines.

What is rather worrying, is the increased number of infections and mortality rate of healthcare and frontline workers who are at the coalface of the pandemic. Not only is the challenge of vaccines it is also the challenge of PPE,  some hospitals and health facilities have a lack of PPEs or have limited PPEs. This is unacceptable and must be addressed with urgency.    

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does offer superior protection based on the current results, protecting nearly 6 in 10 people from any Covid-19 disease, and 9 in 10 people from severe symptoms and death, with once off single dose and storage at normal fridge temperature.

Although the current AstraZeneca vaccine results are disappointing, let us not dismiss it. We need to hold these claims in the same way we hold all other clinical trials. And it is for this reason we don’t think it should be returned. We only have data to justify 6 months exploration data. We must allow the Minister and his team to investigate the use of AstraZeneca for future administering.

As we await the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, set to arrive this week, as a replacement to AstraZeneca for roll out of phase one, which has proven to show a smaller decline in efficacy against the variant, this makes it a plausible choice for rollout.

What the government is doing is perfectly spot on. We view the pressure being put on the minister and government by people who can not grasp the science, as a pure tactic to discredit the fight against Covid-19. Our government is following the science.

Since the AstraZeneca vaccine is cheap and stored at normal fridge temperature, roll out is worth serious consideration, especially among healthier adults in line with current evidence. There were no cases of severe disease or death in the trial. AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturers should seriously consider a booster for the new variant, as should other manufacturers. If AstraZeneca confirmed they would release a booster at no extra cost, or very minimal, we would strongly support continued roll out among healthier adults.

In all probability the third wave is coming around June and more work needs to be done in ensuring we reduce mutants and encourage social and behaviour change, as a means to curb the spread. Alongside non-pharmaceutical preventative methods of wearing your mask, washing your hands and socially distancing as much as you can, vaccines really remain the only sustainable option of reducing risk of severe disease and death. 

However, we have reiterated, time and time again for rich countries and big pharmaceuticals to share their Intellectual Property (IP) with developing countries, so we are able to manufacture and produce our own vaccines, to ensure speedy roll out and boost the economy. We need vaccines that work and to make them, we need the know how, technology transfer and starting ingredients . Rich countries and pharmaceuticals are playing monopoly with the lives of the poor. The World Trade Organisation TRIPS waiver is a matter of life and death.

As civil society, we remain vigilant and call on the government to continue in the spirit of engagement as we push for effective community, social mobilisation and public awareness strategy. And in so doing, we must warn Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize not to call us ONLY when they have spilt milk on the floor and are now standing with a mop.


For media enquiries and interviews contact Oliver Meth, Communications Lead on 068 352 9045

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. erotik

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.. Merla Penny Lothair

  2. erotik

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service? Thanks! Maddy Erhard Addi

  3. erotik

    Candice, as always you are generous and ever-interested in helping children. You project was a blessing to everyone involved. Perhaps it is true that there is a time for everything and this sad nudge will undoubtedly unleash your brain for a new blessing to others. I have no doubt and great confidence in you. So glad we were in the same Salon. Love Sally Anabelle Miles Bryner

  4. erotik

    Very good point which I had quickly initiate efficient initiatives without wireless web services. Interactively underwhelm turnkey initiatives before high-payoff relationships. Holisticly restore superior interfaces before flexible technology. Completely scale extensible relationships through empowered web-readiness. Madelena Broddie Balliol

  5. erotik

    cheers a good deal this fabulous website can be formal plus informal Reggie Rafaello Tavie

  6. erotik

    Thank youThanks for the auspiciousgood writeup. It if truth be toldin factactuallyin realityin truth used to bewaswas once a entertainmentamusementleisureenjoyment account it. GlanceLook complexcomplicatedadvanced to farmore broughtintroducedaddeddelivered agreeable from you! By the wayHowever, how cancould we keep in touchkeep up a correspondencecommunicatebe in contact? Barbara Rusty Moreville

  7. erotik

    After exploring a handful of the blog posts on your web page, I truly like your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site as well and tell me how you feel. Theresa Bendicty Eberly

  8. retinol serum

    hello!,I like your writing very much! proportion we be in contact more approximately your article on AOL?

    I need a specialist on this area to unravel my problem. May be that’s you!
    Taking a look forward to see you.

  9. CBD for dogs

    Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to say
    that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.

    Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you get
    right of entry to persistently rapidly.

    Here is my web blog: CBD for dogs

  10. CBD for sale

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything.
    But think of if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could undeniably be one of the very best in its field.
    Fantastic blog!

    Here is my web-site :: CBD for sale

  11. CBD for dogs

    Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but
    I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your
    own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Here is my page: CBD for dogs

  12. cbd for sleep

    I take pleasure in, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to
    be having a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    My website … cbd for sleep

  13. Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hi there, You have performed an incredible
    job. I will definitely digg it and in my opinion recommend to my friends.
    I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

  14. buy cbd gummies

    Great website. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it
    to a few pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks
    to your effort!

  15. erotik

    You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.| Mellie Griffin Braden

  16. bursa escort

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it! Doralyn Lou Reuben

  17. bursa escort

    There is definately a lot to know about this subject. I love all of the points you have made. Nora Damiano Pollard

  18. erotik

    Many hugs and prayers for you all! He will definitely be missed! Love you guys! Sibilla Carver Orpheus

  19. erotik

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include approximately all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this. Estell Ron Turley

  20. best CBD gummies

    you are actually a good webmaster. The web site loading pace is incredible.

    It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece.
    you have done a excellent job in this subject!

  21. CBD near me

    I’m not sure exactly why but this web site
    is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it
    a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem
    still exists.

  22. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in internet explorer, would test
    this? IE still is the market leader and a big part of people will omit your excellent writing
    due to this problem.

Leave a Reply