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Discovery in touch with vaccine makers

But cannot independently source vaccines as procurement and distribution is in the hands of the government.
Image: Moneyweb

South African health insurer Discovery Ltd said on Monday it was in contact with all Covid-19 vaccine producers but cannot independently source vaccines as procurement and distribution is in the hands of the government.

As in many countries, vaccine procurement in South Africa is centralised and controlled by government but the pace of procurement and inoculation has been slow, with less than 250 000 people, or just 0.5% of the population vaccinated so far.

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This has prompted calls from health experts to allow the private sector to source vaccines to bolster government efforts.

“While we (Discovery) might be in contact with vaccine manufacturers, the acquisition of the vaccine and the policy for who receives it and in what sequence remains the exclusive responsibility of government, until such time as government informs otherwise,” said Ryan Noach, CEO of the company’s medical scheme Discovery Health.

“We have been in regular liaison with vaccine manufacturers since September 2020,” Noach said in an emailed response to Reuters. He said the company is taking all measures to “ensure the procurement is efficient, and stock available quickly, especially for the most at risk.”

South Africa’s vaccine rollout faced a blow in early February when it decided to halt the rollout of AstraZeneca’s shots on concerns about its effectiveness against the 501Y.V2 variant that caused a huge spurt in infections late last year.

The country has since opted for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine under an “implementation study.”

In a note to policyholders on Friday, Discovery’s group CEO Adrian Gore said the company was aiming to vaccinate its three million adult policyholders, with the capacity of 50 000 vaccinations per day starting in May, if vaccine supplies are on time.

“This will enable all of Discovery’s 550 000 high-risk members to be vaccinated within a few weeks,” he said.

South Africa’s Health Ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment when asked about private vaccine procurement.

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Discovery could implement the entire vaccine rollout for all together with the major private hospital chains

But then the ANC gangster regime will look like the incompetents that they are. Its all about the inferiority complex and image.

Its same with SAA-Jamnadas has his free flights -the fact the incompetent pilots( this was a human error not aircraft problem) nearly crashed the aircraft-possibly crashing and killing hundreds- doesn’t concern him at all. The dumb voters who support his party of convicts are useful cannon fodder.

End of comments.

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