Western Cape has already approached vaccine manufacturers, Winde says

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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
Jaco Marais
  • The Western Cape health department has already approached pharmaceutical companies in an effort to procure Covid-19 vaccine doses.
  • This was confirmed by Premier Alan Winde during his State of the Province Address on Wednesday.
  • Winde said the procurement process would be made public to prevent corruption.

A procurement team to secure Covid-19 vaccine doses for the Western Cape has started contacting CEOs of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde announced this during his State of the Province Address, presented from Genadendal on Wednesday.

He discussed the province's "four-pronged plan" to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes the rollout and procurement of vaccine doses.

The first vaccine doses were rolled out in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on Wednesday, with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minster Zweli Mkhize receiving their jabs.

READ | How Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine compares to shots from Pfizer and Moderna

Winde said the centralised vaccine procurement process of the national government had not yet secured enough vaccine doses for the country to achieve the necessary population immunity this year. He estimated the government to be around 40 million doses short.

This had motivated the provincial government's plan to procure vaccines to supplement the national supply, he said.

"We are mitigating the risk that a centralised vaccine procurement process creates, by putting in place the necessary systems that will enable us to procure additional vaccines for our people," Winde said.

READ HERE | What it really means when experts say vaccines are 95% effective

He added that a team has been established to drive the procurement.

"I can report back… that as part of this process, our Department of Health has started reaching out to manufacturers, in the first step towards procurement. Our provincial Treasury has also taken the necessary steps to budget for this contingency, and further announcements will be made in the budget speech next month."

Winde vowed that the procurement process would be open to public scrutiny.

"Underpinning everything we do will be our continued commitment to transparency in all vaccination-related procurement by our government. I can, therefore, confirm that we will be incorporating all vaccine-related procurement in our Covid-19 Procurement Disclosure Report. This will allow the public to scrutinise our payments and compare unit costs… Corruption is not tolerated in this province. And I will personally lay charges against any person in our government that tries to steal from the people," Winde said.

ALSO READ | SA is the first country to roll out Johnson & Johnson vaccine - what you need to know about the jab

Winde said the provincial government would ensure it worked alongside the national procurement plan.

"I also want to be crystal clear that this provincial procurement does not mean we are at odds with the national government. It also does not mean that we will not work or align closely with them," he said.


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