Faizel Patel – 06/04/2021
The Bhekisa Centre for Health Journalism’s Aisha Abdool Karim says the slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout in South Africa is not a government problem but rather the shortage of doses.
Karim was speaking to Radio Islam on Tuesday about wide ranging issues including are we close to post COVID-19 life, vaccine rollouts and the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Yesterday, Senior Executive Editor at Bloomberg John Fraher tweeted that according to the vaccine tracker update, it would take South Africa ten years to vaccinate 75% of the population.
Other countries on the list include the US with three months, the UK five months, China a year and the world more than eighteen months.
Karim says the slow roll out of the Coronavirus vaccine is not unique to South Africa.
“This a problem that everybody around the world is facing. What we are trying to do is, it requires that there be enough immunity around the world globally. So, every country is trying to protect its own population When you think about the billions of people around the world that needs to be vaccinated and in order for that to happen, that puts immense pressure on the demand for vaccines.”
Karim says vaccine manufacturer’s are battling to produce vaccines at the rate that they are needed.
“Unfortunately, South Africa is not at the front of the queue when it comes to vaccines and that’s for two reasons. The first is that wealthier countries purchase several million doses way more than they need to cover their own population. The second issue we face is that we signed onto the Covax facility which is aimed at vaccine equity making sure that everybody has equal access to getting vaccine doses.”
Karim says reports indicate that more than a million vaccine doses are expected to arrive from Johnson and Johnson later this month.
Listen to the interview with Aisha Abdool Karim