- Deputy President David Mabuza said negotiations with the manufacturers of the Sputnik and Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines were at an advanced stage.
- Mabuza told the National Council of Provinces the negotiations were ongoing.
- It comes as South Africa officially enters its third wave of the pandemic.
Deputy President David Mabuza has said negotiations with the manufacturers of the Sputnik and Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines are at an advanced stage.
"Further interventions being implemented to save lives are ongoing negotiations with vaccine manufacturers such as Gamaleya Institute for the Sputnik V and manufacturers of Sinovac that are at an advanced stage," he said in response to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.
The deputy president dealt with the mass vaccination programme, which he described as a "major response area" in saving lives and achieving population health.
"Initially, there was a slow uptake to vaccinations due to limited supply of vaccines as a result of global demand for vaccination, as well as pessimism towards their use.
"This has been addressed by concluding negotiations with manufacturers and upscaling government risk communications," he said.
Mabuza said regulatory issues had also impacted the scale and pace of the vaccination programme.
"Notwithstanding these challenges, we are forging ahead, and the vaccination acquisition and distribution to provinces has also improved, hence we are witnessing the rise in the number of those being vaccinated," he said.
The deputy president further stated that government was also enhancing local manufacturing capability through collaboration with partners within Brics, which will "enable us to overcome the current pandemic and respond to future health emergencies".
"As government, we will continue to ensure that every citizen enjoys the rights to life, equality and human dignity as outlined in the Bill of Rights with the recent surge of new cases.
"We want to appeal to all of us to continue to observe Covid-19 protocols to curb further infections while working on achieving population immunity through vaccines," Mabuza said.
On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country was officially in the third wave of the pandemic.
He moved the country to lockdown Level 3 and said South Africa had recorded an average of 7 500 daily infections over the preceding seven days, News24 reported.
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