ANC NEC to ready to discuss Covid-19 vaccine roll-out
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Johannesburg - The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) is meeting this weekend to discuss the rollout of vaccines after the recent AstraZeneca debacle.
Briefing the NEC will be Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who also happens to be a member of the committee.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said that the party recognised that vaccines were an important intervention in the fight against the pandemic and that is why they had prioritised it during their January 8 statement.
“If there is one issue that requires the unity of our people is fighting this Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mabe, adding that the party has also lost members during the pandemic.
“It’s the first time this government has dealt with this pandemic of unknown proportions.”
He added that the last time there was such a pandemic was over 100 years ago.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said during his State of the Nation address on Thursday night that the first batch of 80000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines would be arriving next week.
This would then be followed by another half a million doses in the next four weeks.
South Africa has also secured 12 million vaccines from the Covax facility and 20m doses from Pfizer.
Mkhize this week was in Parliament to brief the portfolio committee on health on the AstraZeneca debacle.
Chairperson of the committee Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the meeting gave insight into the work done by the department.
He said Mkhize has given them assurances that the Johnson& Johnson’s vaccines will arrive next week and were effective.
Ramaphosa also said in the SONA that provinces were ready with their rollout plans for the vaccines.
Mpumalanga will brief the committee on Wednesday on their plans while Gauteng announced yesterday they were ready for the rollout.
But some of the MPs had last week questioned whether some provinces were up to the task of inoculating millions of people.
The government plans to inoculate 67% of the population to reach herd immunity.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is expected to outline some of the expenditure plans for the vaccines when he tables his Budget in the next two weeks.
But the government has said it was working with the international community to ensure that the fight against Covid-19 was intensified.