Western Cape govt 'devastated' after Covid-19 vaccine rollout put on hold

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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde  says they are devastated following the temporary hold on vaccines.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says they are devastated following the temporary hold on vaccines.
Jaco Marais
  • Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo says she's 'damn angry' after the announcement was made.
  • Premier Alan Winde says the Province will continue to forge ahead with its logistical planning for the phase one vaccine roll-out in the meantime.
  • The roll-out of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shot has been placed temporarily on hold after data indicated that it provided only minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the coronavirus variant 501Y.V2.


The Western Cape Government is planning to forge ahead with logistical planning for the phase one vaccine roll-out.

This comes after an announcement by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize that the rollout of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shot will be temporarily put on hold after data indicated that it provided only minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the Covid-10 501Y.V2 variant.

Premier Alan Winde said: “Like the rest of South Africa, we are devastated at the news that Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine rollout has been suspended because of the latest study on its efficacy with respect to the 501Y.V2 strain. We are fortunate to have world-class scientists in South Africa, and it is important that we listen carefully to their advice on what should now be done. We will await their guidance.”

Winde said the Province will continue to forge ahead with its logistical planning for the phase one vaccine roll-out in the meantime.

READ | Blow for SA's Covid-19 fight as AstraZeneca vaccine rollout temporarily put on hold

“We need to make sure we are 100% ready whatever the decision taken is on this vaccine. Until we have widespread vaccine coverage, it remains important that we all do everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19,” he said.

The Province has been on a mission to make sure it can acquire its own vaccines.

Last week News24 reported that the Province would receive more than 93 000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines - 35 000 doses for healthcare workers in the public sector and 58 584 doses for healthcare workers in the private sector. The Provincial Department of Health conducted a site visit last week at the Cape Medical Depot where the vaccines will be stored and distributed.

In a Facebook post, the Province’s Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo shared her personal reaction to the delay, saying she accepted and welcomed the findings.

"I am damn angry with those service providers and manufacturers who still were persistent to sell to SA this AZ (plus other vaccines) yet knowingly they don’t protect us from the variant. We were getting offers as low as half price.... Probably they knew it was just a medical dumping. The variant in SA was detected by end October whilst as many clinical trials were happening with 'usual' Covid virus, but throughout November till now, it showed the  trials on vaccines were not as effective to the variant on severe illness, hospitalization and deaths. It was unethical for these to keep on selling us such without them alerting us.”

Ministerial advisory committee (MAC) member Professor Ian Sanne told News24: “At the moment everything is up in the air and there are two processes ongoing. We need to give the Department of Health time because given the fact that the data had only been available a few days ago. I agree that many people are upset and they have every right to be and its crucial for healthworkers to get vaccinated as soon as possible. But we need to understand the science behind this,” he said.


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