Health leaders ask SA to axe officials on vaccine lag

Describe their public acknowledgement of not wanting to risk ordering vaccines that might not work as ‘shockingly disingenuous’.
A charity paid the deposit for vaccines from the Covax facility after government missed a deadline it had itself announced. Image: Eva Marie Uzcategui, Bloomberg

Some of South Africa’s most senior medical leaders and academics have called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire government officials over delays in procuring Covid-19 vaccines, saying their actions will cause thousands of deaths and untold economic damage.

The demand was made in an opinion piece run by News24, the country’s biggest Internet news site, and signed by nine people including Glenda Gray, the president of the South African Medical Research Council, and officials from other health organisations, hospitals and universities.

While at least 29 countries ranging from Mexico to Germany have begun inoculating their populations against the virus, South Africa has yet to conclude any agreements for direct supply with pharmaceutical companies.

The country has ordered vaccines from the Covax facility, an initiative designed to ensure equitable access to vaccines, but those will only cover 10% of the population of about 60 million and will arrive in the second quarter of the year.

Even then a charity put down the deposit after government missed a deadline it announced itself.


The failure to procure vaccines is an “unforgivable failure, which will be measured in lives lost in their thousands, sickness for tens of thousands, a broken health-care system and profound and ongoing economic damage,” the health leaders and academics said in the opinion piece. Ramaphosa will need to “wield the axe against the members and officials in his administration who are responsible for this perilous fiasco and immediately set about correcting the course”.

Tyrone Seale, Ramaphosa’s acting spokesman, said he may comment after the presidency has examined the article. The health ministry didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

South Africa, with over 1.09 million confirmed Covid-19 infections and 29 175 deaths, is the worst hit country on the African continent. Its economy likely contracted by the most in nine decades last year, according to government estimates.

The criticism adds to attacks on the vaccine strategy by opposition parties as well as the country’s biggest labour unions, which are allied with the ruling party.

With the world’s biggest HIV epidemic and hundreds of thousands of tuberculosis sufferers, South Africa has a sophisticated health system with world-leading scientists.

Trials in SA

At least three Covid-19 vaccine trials are underway in the country and Johnson & Johnson has agreed to have 300 million of its Covid-19 vaccines made at an Aspen Pharmacare factory in the country when the shot is approved.

“Public acknowledgement by officials that they didn’t think it prudent to begin bilateral negotiations with vaccine suppliers because they could not ‘take the risk’ of ordering vaccines in the event they would not work is shockingly disingenuous,” the health leaders said.

They also criticised the so-called ministerial advisory committee, a group of scientists appointed by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, for echoing the government’s arguments.

Gray and Francois Venter, an academic who signed the opinion piece, were removed from the committee last year by Mkhize. Both have previously been critical of government’s approach to the virus.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.


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Proof positive that government is only interested in shutting down the economy and not saving lives.

We’re used to this useless Government underperforming on every level

Imagine what disaster is looming when the NHI is introduced

It will make Covid19 deaths look like a picnic

The very, very last thing the regime wants, is for the pandemic to end. It is just too useful: as a catch-all scapegoat for their incompetence, as an opportunity to plunder (the ban on tobacco provided wonderful opportunities for self-enrichment) and a way to fulfill their Marxist urges to control society. They are not interested in ridding SA of the virus.

Marxist totalitarian urges appear to be a common thread that is found in the narrative of the parrot media of many of the nations with high “case numbers” and yet no increase of total all-case morbidity. There is no mention let alone any explanation for the lack of reflection of the feared pandemic in total morbidity numbers. Then there are the incorrect test procedures for the determining the so-called cases from widely condemned incorrect test procedures. One would expect that symptoms would have something to do with it but this is evidently a wrong assumption. Then a positive test result up to 28 days before death is a Covid death regardless of any other factor. This is obtuse and suspicious reasoning. Marxism does not like to be questioned. The truth has always been the enemy of totalitarianism.

The tardy attitude starts at the very top.

CR is late everytime he has a family chat…………

Fake news.
Present proof pls.

1) I was at private hospital on 30Dec, the hospital was not full. Lots of barricade tape, but beds were not filled up(fact). Even the pictures of New Year’s Eve where the trauma units were empty was shown in news papers
2) I never hear doctors complain about this “Covid”, only politicians and union leaders.
3) if the government close business, they need to pay the business and also stop politicians and officials salaries

Wow you are stupid. Go ask the families of over 330k Americans or the young Durban bride to be that died and then her mom and dad 2 days later. In my experience it’s only overweight boomers that complain when they the ones we have to shut everything down to protect their unhealthy asses. Rather worry about helping small business and promoting testing if you want to help instead of spreading misinformation. In fact you could be charged for spreading misinformation that could kill people.

Man you are obtuse. Do you think you will stay young forever? THINK!

You also realize(or perhaps not) the PCR test is not accurate, in fact, only ~70%.
You also might(or not) realize that news papers across the world use stories from each other(change the names of people) so to give people like you a sense of belonging. Who would have thought?


UK dept health website shows as of 30 December 2020, 377 deaths from those below the age of 60
Not a typo

UK population exceeds 66 million

Covid 19 is just another flu strain and which the MSM abstain to release to the public the exceedingly high recovery rate and flatlining of fatalities

Leah Buchanan

As it happens, there is a typo in there somewhere.

Cumulative deaths below 60 is ten time more than what you quote. Above 60 in the UK, it’s about 44000 deaths so far.

As it happens, the younger people are the spreaders (and often super-spreaders) because of their disregard for protective measures and that gets to the older people who then die from it.

Since you couldn’t particularly care about the mortality stats of those over 60s, I assume that your parents and grandparents have already passed on?

It’s not fake news – Read Netwerk 24 – the rest of all the academics are quoted!

Haha…on 6Jan, News24 contradicted you. Beds are avail and minister slams misinformation. Hope you not too embarrassed?

What’s your point? How does it relate to vaccine policy?

Do you know what is in the vaccine? They never even published findings from the trails?

Certainly not according to a doctor friend who has been working flat out for the past 9 months. But if you are so sure that it’s all fake, offer your services at the local hospital or mortuary, where according to you, you can sit around all day drinking tea,

Patient (populace)…
“Doctor I have an ingrown toe nail…what can you do to help?”

Doctor (government)
“..oh dear, best we cut off your leg to be sure”

Man walks into one private hospital and it was was not full, thus all the other hospitals in the country are not full. Brilliant.

My guess is man is blind

Read 6Jan news on News24. Minister slams misinformation, as there are plenty of beds available.
At least this man walks with his eyes open.

What I don’t understand is how this COVID denaaier got 25 likes. Have we become a nation of anti-scientists, conspiracy theorists and haters? Maybe not surprising that we score the lowest in the world in maths

I chat regularly to doctor friends who are working in hospitals around Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Hundreds of staff in their respective hospitals have had Covid19. Many of them have died.

I worked with 2 people who died of Covid19 at the start of the pandemic. I know many people who have been admitted to hospital. Most have been on oxygen for 2 weeks or more before being released – if not going onto a ventilator sooner. A colleague was one of them in December.

A family member in their 30s and a neighbour in their late 50s died of Covid in December.

But since it’s a farce according to you, please volunteer your time to assist the exhausted doctors and nurses at a hospital in your area. Obviously you wont need PPE, so you can let those who know what’s going on wear it instead while your superhero genes are at work saving lives.

I suspect the delay in procurement has a lot to do with anc officials negotiating a cut for themselves and for the party; the way it goes whenever anything has to be purchased.

Exactly! This is a golden opportunity to get a big, quick backhander.

Stop trying to make people interested in this vaccine. Let those health leaders take the vaccine first. We just want to see something.

You can start with the Minuster of Health,then the rest of the cabinet.

Please be calm! Once the cadre complaint regulations and distribution of tenders has been authorised the vaccines will speedily be available – if you know the right person. And apparently if you are emprisoned in one of the national facilities because that’s where it spreads so easily, apparently.

Sigh …

Pillay and Mkhize should be the first to go.

“this time we will do it right”

“right now we are in the final stages identifying
of who will get what of all profit”

“once our profit sharing calculations are fair and beyond suspicion,
everything will happen very fast”

“EVERYONE will get his/her share,
not only the alcohol and cigarette trade,
but ALL trades”

you must understand…R10bn for SAA is important.

Observe closely the actions of this “health” department that proudly brought you Life Esedimedi and beetroot for HIV.

We are bound to get the Chinese and Russian vaccines as they will be seen to be more acceptable and then of course a LOT better than the western ones.

I’m amazed at how many people still think that the ANC cares about ordinary South Africans.

I am also amazed at how thick people in this country are????

THEY WANT YOU TO DIE MAN!!!! What other reason could there be for getting the vaccine “at the right time” as the anc leader says????

This will kill a lot of people.

Has the right time not come and gone??? Like there will be a better time later???

Whahahahaaaa. This lot? Its a joke man.

I imagine EFF supporters will refuse any vaccine from a non communist country as it supports white monopoly capital and colonialism .

Start with the health Minister.

The ANC are pathetic.

What happened over the theft of PPE Procurement monies???

Thats a VERY good question : It was supposed to be sorted and made public !!!

Whole world obsessed with vaccines and theres no proof that it works.sounds like a scam

Not getting the shady vaccine might be a blessing in disguise. Let others
play lab rat.

The mister of health behaves very professionally and knows what he is doing (Yes, there are ministers that do not make the grade).

You cannot just jump and buy a product without proper research and negotiations on the price and when it can be delivered.

If you buy a vaccine and it kills or harms people then you are also legally liable.

People do not seem to think before criticizing, it looks like a one way of thought.

Where is the intelligence in the conversation?

End of comments.




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