Here is what you need to know about Western Cape’s plan to buy its own Covid-19 vaccines

The Western Cape government has mobilised a R2.17bn “war chest” to defeat Covid-19 in the province.

The Western Cape has set aside R75m to buy its own vaccines, which may be spent on procuring up to 500,000 single-shot jabs. Stock photo.
Image: Sasirin Pamai/123rf.com

This is according to the province’s finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier who was presenting its provincial budget on Tuesday.

Maynier said the money will be allocated in different areas in the Western Cape, including procuring its own Covid-19 vaccine, the vaccine rollout and preparing for a potential third wave of Covid-19 infections in the province.

The R2.17bn will be allocated as follows:

  • R325.6m will be for the rollout of up to 5.1 million vaccinations;
  • R75m for the procurement of vaccines, which may be spent on procuring up to 500,000 single-shot vaccines;
  • R20m for communication about vaccines, including communicating the benefits of being vaccinated; and
  • R832m to respond to a possible third wave and to be spent on rapidly expanding testing, providing personal protective equipment and ensuring sufficient supply of oxygen and critical care capacity.

Maynier said the province was also facing significant unprecedented and uncertain issues that have major cost implications.

The issues include not knowing when the province will receive more vaccines from the national government, how many vaccines it will receive, or whether it will receive single-shot or double-shot vaccines.

“To ensure we remain sufficiently agile and flexible, we have ring-fenced a further R800m in the provincial reserves to support the fight against Covid-19,” said Maynier.

He said the province allocated an additional R116m in this financial year to fund the cost of the second wave and to jump-start the rollout of vaccinations.

“We have, in the end, matched a R1.08bn contribution from national government with a R1.09bn contribution from provincial government to mobilise a R2.17bn ‘war chest’ to defeat Covid-19,” Maynier said.

“In the end, when it comes to the struggle between the virus and the vaccine, the vaccine will win because humankind has never been better prepared to defeat a pandemic threatening the future of the world.”

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Unathi Nkanjeni

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