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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has announced that South Africa has paid the sum of R500 million to the Covax programme for vaccine access. Mboweni has also mentioned that he will forage around the national budget to ensure SA has ample supplies of the vaccine, when it becomes available. South Africa is already in a unique position regarding vaccines. The University of the Witwatersrand is playing an integral role in the continuous search for safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines. Professor Shabir Madhi is leading the trials in SA, working closely with the AstraZeneca and Oxford University. In fact, late-stage trials of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine show it to be “up to 90% effective”, reports The Wall Street Journal. – Jarryd Neves
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South Africa paid Covax R500m for vaccine access
By Antony Sguazzin and Manus Cranny
(Bloomberg) – South Africa has paid R500 million to the Covax programme, which strives to supply low- and middle-income countries with proven Covid-19 vaccines to ensure equitable access around the world, according to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. The minister said he will find a further R4.5bn from the budget to make sure South Africa has an adequate supply and is at “the front of the queue” when vaccines become available.
There may also be scope to help some neighbours, he said. “South Africa is in the fortunate position that we have been invited to participate in the consortium that is looking for this vaccine,” Mboweni said at the Bloomberg Invest Africa virtual conference. “I just hope that we do not face a second wave of the pandemic.”
The global Covax alliance has raised more than $2bn and secured deals for roughly 700m doses so far.
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