Private sector can help govt scale up to 420 000 jabs a day by September, says business lobby

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B4SA is confident that private sector can help govt scale up vaccination to some 420 000 jabs a day.
B4SA is confident that private sector can help govt scale up vaccination to some 420 000 jabs a day.
  • Business for South Africa (B4SA) says it can help government scale up daily vaccinations to some 420 000 jabs a day. 
  • At present, more than 230 000 people a day are being vaccinated and even that is thanks to partnerships between business and the government, says B4SA. 
  • Additional vaccine supply, scheduled to arrive in the next few days, according to B4SA chairperson Martin Kingston. 

The private sector can help South Africa ramp up vaccinations to almost double the current daily rate, Business for South Africa (B4SA) chairperson Martin Kingston said on Friday.

Speaking at a briefing held by acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, Kingston gave an update on private sector partnerships with government, and what is being done to help scale up vaccinations.

Currently more than 230 000 people are being vaccinated per day, which is partly attributable to the solid partnership built between business and government during the course of the pandemic, said Kingston.

He said capacity could be increased even further as vaccine supplies become available.

By mid-September, South Africa could be administering up to 420 000 jabs a day, he said.

According to Kingston, the private sector has been doing what it can to ramp up vaccination rates.

"We are using every possible avenue to get as many jabs into as many arms, across the broadest cross-section of society," said Kingston.

"Some people will come to us; some people we are going to have to go and find. Some will be vaccinated in their workplaces – we are diversifying our tactics to ensure no one is left behind."

Kingston said B4SA welcomed the Department of Health's proposal to return to an age-based administration of the national programme, rather than including a sectoral rollout.

"This should enable about 50% of the eligible population in South Africa to receive at least a first dose vaccination within the next 10 weeks. While we will all accept walk-ins, we ask that everyone please registers and uses the EVDS (Electronic Vaccination Data System) to save both you and the vaccine sites time. It also allows us to better plan the ordering and delivery of vaccines," Kingston said.

The government is currently offering Covid-19 vaccines to people aged 35 and older, along with people working in key sectors such as basic education and security.

Kingston said more than half of the 120 pharmacies that had been closed, looted or burned, which included 71 vaccination sites, representing a vaccination capacity of 10 000 doses a day, are expected to be back online by 2 August, with pharmacies working together to continue vaccine rollout in KwaZulu-Natal.

"We also welcome the confirmation of additional vaccine supply, scheduled to arrive in the next few days. It normally takes seven to 10 days, depending on the vaccine, for new stock to migrate through to vaccination sites.

"While we may experience some supply constraint during the next two weeks, once the new stock is in the system, we have our sights set on administering well over 300 000 jabs per day," said Kingston.  

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