Johannesburg – Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed the Covid-19 vaccines will be free and the government would not allow anyone to sell it on the black market.
This came after Mkhize warned they need to look at issues of theft and corruption in the distribution of the vaccines.
“We have to look at issues of theft on the ground. We believe because the vaccines are going to be free to the recipient and that government and medical aids are going to be paying for it, particularly the administration cost, and there shouldn’t be anyone who should be paying to get the vaccine.
Mkhize also told MPs on Friday his department wanted politicians to be the first in line to take the vaccines to end speculation and misinformation about the vaccines.
NFP MP Manzoor Shaik Emam said he was willing to be among the first politicians to take the vaccine.
“If there is going to be anybody paying for the vaccine, we need to question as to what is happening there. From where we sit, if there is no payment for the vaccine, it limits the involvement of the black market in this whole case,” said Mkhize.
He said the government was committed in pushing ahead with its plans to acquire more vaccines from other manufactures.
Mkhize said they are in discussion with a number of pharmaceutical companies in the supply of vaccines.
The issue of vaccine nationalism was impacting the global supply of doses across the globe, he said. These were issues they needed to deal with.
But the first consignment from the Serum Institute of India would be followed by other batches to come in the next few months, he said.