SA needs a Covid-19 vaccine by April, but jumping at the first one on the market could be a costly mistake, according to Stavros Nicolaou, chair of the Business for SA health working group.

SA Medical Association chair, Dr Angelique Coetzee, said if SA hangs on for several more weeks, more vaccines will be available “and hopefully we will get a vaccine that is more suitable for our country’s environment and far cheaper”.

Wits University health economist Alex van den Heever said if we do not have a vaccine by the middle of winter a second wave will be worse than the first. C-19 will then be difficult to contain unless we have a vaccine and enough doses for the population.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in a statement on December 4, that the government is on track to sign the Covax agreement and denied claims that SA missed the deadline to pay the R500-m. In order to secure enough doses to vaccinate 10% of the population, SA will be required to make a down payment of R327,1-m and the Solidarity Fund has agreed to make this initial contribution.

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