Melanie Verwoerd | Why don't we have a vaccine yet?

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight not just scientific/technical/supply-chain issues, but also moral questions, says the writer. (Getty Images)
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight not just scientific/technical/supply-chain issues, but also moral questions, says the writer. (Getty Images)

South Africa's vaccine procurement is a mess, but it is a mess that is linked to the age-old problem of global inequality, writes Melanie Verwoerd.

At this stage every person in the country probably knows someone who has been infected by the Covid-19 virus. With the infection and death rate climbing fast, our only hope of curbing this disaster is via a vaccine. With many countries (most in the developed world) rolling out millions of vaccinations, South Africans are understandably getting frustrated with the delay in access to vaccines.

I was also getting increasingly frustrated. However, knowing any of the people in government working on procurement, I knew that it could not just be an issue of laxness or incompetency causing the delay – as many analysts and experts would like us to believe.

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