A cancelled meeting, delays and secrecy: Inside SA's efforts to procure Covid-19 vaccine doses

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A nurse receives the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital on 21 December 2020 in Valley Stream, New York.
A nurse receives the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital on 21 December 2020 in Valley Stream, New York.
Eduardo Munoz-Pool, Getty Images

Health officials cancelled at least one meeting with global pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) that had reached out in early August to initiate discussions around its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which will be locally manufactured and was trialled in the country.

Instead, the meeting was delayed for weeks, only taking place in September. Months later as other countries rolled out vaccination programmes, having secured doses earlier in 2020, South Africa is yet to finalise any deal with manufacturers as criticism over the apparent delay and lack of transparency grows.

READ | Will SA meet its Covid-19 vaccine targets? Experts have their say

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