Western Cape Covid-19 vaccine procurement: Winde set to meet with Sahpra

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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
Jaco Marais
  • The Western Cape government will be meeting with Sahpra with regard to vaccines and Covid-19 therapeutics.
  • Premier Alan Winde is committed to working with the organisation.
  • The Western Cape has developed a framework to guide the procurement of vaccines, alongside the national rollout plan.

The Western Cape government will be meeting with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) on Friday.

During a digicon on Thursday, on the province's Covid-19 numbers and vaccination rollout plan, Premier Alan Winde confirmed the meeting would take place.

His spokesperson Bianca Capazorio said the meeting would enable "direct engagement".

READ | You can now register for a Covid-19 vaccine - here's how

"Premier Winde requested the meeting with Sahpra several weeks ago in order to have a direct engagement with them on two main issues: to understand the approval processes required for vaccines and to have a discussion on the trials and approvals for therapeutics, which could help in the fight against Covid-19," she said.

During the briefing, Winde said the provincial government intended to work with Saphra's approval process should it procure any vaccines.

READ | Covid-19 antibody tests now cost as little as R130

Last week, Winde confirmed the Western Cape Cabinet had approved a framework for provincial contingency vaccine acquisition (and procurement), which is intended to supplement the national vaccine acquisition plan.

On Thursday, Winde said the province would only procure vaccines as a "top-up" to those acquired by national government.

Winde added that a team had been set up to oversee the procurement process, which consisted of officials from the provincial health department and treasury.

Budgeted

He added that no fixed amount had been budgeted for the procurement, but that funds had been allocated to the health department for the vaccine rollout and that this would be communicated by Finance MEC David Maynier.

Capazorio previously told News24 that Winde had written to the president to inform him about the provincial strategy.

The strategy provided the framework to "coordinate contingency arrangements and ensure that whatever vaccine might be acquired provincially meets all the necessary regulatory requirements".

However, the acquisition strategy has come under fire from opposition parties in the Western Cape, who have accused the provincial government of politicising the pandemic.

Public health expert and chair of social security studies and administration at the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Alex van den Heever, previously told News24 the Western Cape could legally procure its own vaccines by applying to Sahpra for a Section 21 licence to import vaccines.

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