According to a report, South Africa will store Covid-19 vaccines in a secret place to eliminate the risk of theft. The country will receive about 1.5 million doses from India in the coming weeks and another 500,000 doses in February. It has priorised healthcare workers in both private and government hospitals first.
Department of Health spokesperson Popo Maja said, “The vaccines are a highly-rated commodity once they’re stolen and reach the black market”. He also hinted that if such a theft occurs there may be a hike in prices of the illegally obtained vaccines.
The authorities have planned to store them in a central place from where it would be distributed among the clinics and medical centres all over the country. South African government has already heard that there has been multiple thefts of the vaccines from other countries where vaccines are being rolled out, hence it will not disclose the storage place.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize addressed the public last week assuring that it has already secured 1.5 million doses of India’s AstraZeneca vaccine. He also assured that there will be no corruption in the distribution unlike what the country faced during the acquisition of PPE kits.
“We are all happy that the Serum Institute of India and the AstraZeneca vaccine have already been approved by various regulators and is being rolled out in other countries,” he said.
The country has been continuously fighting the rising number of coronavirus cases and has already faced a second wave and new variant of the virus. There were 21,600 new cases registered and 399 deaths on Sunday.