Flash Briefing: Study shows only 40% of Africans support vaccine mandates; Pfizer booster shot approved in SA; SA taxpayers’ raw deal

  • A new study by the University of Cape Town (UCT) has found that while vaccine mandates might assist in improving uptake of the vaccines, only 40% of Africans supported them. The study found that there was high vaccine hesitancy among Africans living in Africa as well as in the diaspora. Only 63% of participants would be willing to receive a Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible, and an additional 5% would receive vaccines after considering their safety in people who vaccinated before them. In the past few months, several private companies and institutions of higher learning had introduced Covid-19 vaccine mandates. The government had also set up a task team to look into whether it should implement mandates. This week the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) announced they recommended a Covid-19 vaccine mandate and a public gathering restriction to the unvaccinated. 
  • Scientists and researchers have welcomed SAHPRA’s approval of a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine booster shot, which will be available for anyone over the age of 18 six months after their second dose. New data from Pfizer shows that the booster jab will increase efficacy against the Omicron variant. Researchers said that the next step is to get approval for the mix-and-match Covid treatment, allowing the different vaccines to be used in combination. 
  • South African citizens are still getting the short end of the stick when it comes to value for tax money, with only 19% of the R1.9trn national and provincial government spending getting a clean audit in the 2020/21 financial year. Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke published her office’s latest report, showing that out of 115 government departments and entities, one state-owned enterprise – the Development Bank of South Africa – and two key departments got a clean audit. Across the books, government spending is littered with ‘diverted resources’, wasteful and fruitless spending, and loose financial controls. All while citizens are robbed of basic service delivery and access to finance.
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