Faizel Patel – 22/01/2021
A lecturer at the Department of Pediatrics at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in India says South Africa was caught napping and failed to secure a cheaper price for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Kafeel Khan was speaking to Radio Islam on Friday from Gorakhpur about the 1.5 million shots of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is headed to our shores before the end of the month.
South Africa will pay $5.25 (R77.67) per dose of the vaccine.
The country is hosting clinical trials of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University, raising questions about the higher price it will be paying.
Health department Deputy Director-General Anban Pillay told Reuters that SII’s price was based on South Africa’s status as an upper-middle-income country under a World Bank classification.
However, Dr Khan says this is not the case.
He says Italy, Germany, France and Netherlands who have higher income groups only paid $ 2.5 for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am also surprised why South Africa is paying so much. Even the African Union signed an agreement in June for three hundred million AstraZeneca vaccines for $3 only. The European Union is paying only $ 2.5 per dose for around five hundred million vaccines. Even India is paying only $ 2.75.”
Dr Khan says South Africa was caught napping when it came to securing cheaper prices and deals for the Coronavirus vaccine.
“South Africa lapsed when they went for the contract of the vaccine. They were very far behind to get this deals and now they have woken up from that.”
Meanwhile, Dr Khan says contrary to reports being circulated on various platforms, there is no scientific evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine can cause infertility in women or alter the DNA of a person.
Listen to the interview with Dr. Kafeel Khan