- The possibility of corruption has not been ruled out during the vaccination rollout programme.
- Gauteng Premier David Makhura says vaccines have to be protected.
- Vaccine procurement is being handled by the national government.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura is not ruling out the possibility of corruption linked to the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Makhura told the media at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto that vaccines are a prime commodity, which is why it has to be secured.
"Corruption is always possible, and we will ensure it is prevented, by ensuring that vaccines reach relevant recipients. The system is tight because everybody who will get the vaccine will be registered.
"Preventing corruption is something we must ensure. The good thing is that vaccine procurement is happening at a single point and our duty is to distribute it. We don't want situations where vaccines are hijacked. They have to be secured," Makhura said.
Makhura promised that law enforcement agencies would do everything to ensure there was no distribution of vaccines not approved.
"As Gauteng government, we are not procuring vaccines. South African can't afford [another] corruption scandal related to Covid-19. Our responsibility is to provide facilities for vaccination.
"I am glad and happy that the national government is dealing with the vaccine procurement. We only want to get doses and distribute it," said Makhura.
Gauteng's vaccine manager, Nomsa Mmope, said the doses would be distributed in three phases.
"We will first vaccinate those who are at the highest risk within the healthcare system. We will start vaccinating the 215 000 healthcare workers that we have identified. The second phase will move to some hospitals and primary healthcare facilities. The third phase will be vaccinating everybody above 18 years with no comorbidities.
"Close to three million people will be vaccinated during phase 3. We will be using churches, halls and our facilities," said Mmope.