Parliament, Wednesday, 31 March 2021 – The Portfolio Committee on Health received an update from the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, and the Department of Health on the Johnson & Johnson clinical trials, vaccines procurement and progress on the vaccination roll-out programme.
Briefing the committee, Minister Mkhize said South Africa has secured 10 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson and that the government had successfully pushed for a further 20 million doses. Government is now negotiating the terms for the additional vaccines. In total, the Minister said South Africa has 31 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the pipeline and an additional 20 million doses from Pfizer.
The committee was informed that advanced negotiations are taking place with other pharmaceutical manufacturers, such as Sputnik, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The committee expressed concern about the delays in the implementation, as well as the deviation in the vaccine roll-out figures. Members of the committee said that the department had made commitments and set targets for the roll-out of the vaccines, but these have not been met. The committee questioned whether the revised targets will be met and what measures are in place to ensure this.
The committee also heard that to date 251 707 healthcare workers have been vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol.
Committee Chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo congratulated Ministerial Advisory Committee co-chair Professor Kholeka Mlisana on her appointment after the departure of Professor Salim Abdool Karim to focus on his HIV research.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DR SIBONGISENI DHLOMO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Ms Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
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Cell: 081 497 4694
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