Following the first report on “How the Government screwed the Country out of Vaccines” in January, it is time to look at the situation in South Africa now, one month later. But let’s first recap the beginning of the Epic South African Saga “About Lies, Failure and Vaccines”:
COVAX Initiative for Africa
Millions of vaccines are already manufactured and distributed, hundreds of millions of little ampules becoming ready for distribution, NONE of them earmarked for the Rainbow Nation. But why? It all started during the early stages of the pandemic, where it quickly became apparent that to end this global crisis we don’t just need COVID-19 vaccines, we also need to ensure that everyone in the world has access to them. This triggered global leaders to call for a solution that would accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as diagnostics and treatments, and guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to them for people in all countries. Then we seemed to have the solution: COVAX, an extraordinary and unique global collaboration launched in response to this pandemic and in charge of securing vaccines for Africa.
South Africa is also part of COVAX and the only action that was necessary to ensure to remain on the frontline of receivers once the vaccine ships to Africa was to make a down payment of ZAR 327m in November 2020, representing 15% deposit on the total bill of ZAR 2.2bn for all Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines allegedly ordered. But our government’s ignorance raged war against COVAX as no payment was made, and a second deadline was set by COVAX for payment to be done by 15 December 2020. Again no payment was made.
AstraZeneca – First Attempt
Bombarded with questions, demands, threats and enquiries, Health Minister Mkhize informed the public that it was never the intention to buy such expensive vaccines like Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, instead the government had allegedly negotiated with Oxford in the UK to supply the AstraZeneca Vaccine, which was much cheaper and on 7 January Mkhize informed the public that the country is “on track to vaccinate 40 million residents with the AstraZeneca Vaccine within the next 12 months”, and that “the first million doses will land on our shores still this month as he had secured to buy 1.5m doses from India’s Serum Institute (SII)!”
AstraZeneca Second Attempt
A shipment then landed in South Africa, indeed with 1.5 million vaccines from India, but not the one that was promised as AstraZeneca vaccines were earmarked for the Indian market. A new vaccine developed under the authority of AstraZeneca arrived, untested, unapproved by the authorities and the leading clown in this catastrophe thought that he can use the emergency provision of s21 of the Medicine and Related Substances Act as blanket empowerment to inject millions of unsuspecting South Africans with an unlicensed and untested vaccine while overlooking that the vaccine is classified as an genetically modified organism (GMO) which also needs to be registered with the GMO Registrar at the Department for Agriculture. That requires 30 days of public comment and the approval of SAHPRA and we all know, nobody working there unless it is about the approval of medicine to be distributed by one of the Government Goons’ nepotistic empowered enterprises. The Minister keeps grinning and lies through his teeth, since when would he know of legalities, acts and regulations? He is just the Minister, now with pants on fire 24/7.
Then the trials and testing conducted before the Health Workers were led to the slaughterhouse brought up another surprise: the vaccine received from India is less than 25% effective against the South African variant of COVID-19, B.1.351 (also known as 501Y.V2). As a consequence, South Africa has suspended all vaccination.
Does Hope die Last?
So, what is left to hope for? These are the other available vaccines world-wide:
Pfizer/BioiNTech – 70 degree minus cooling chain cannot be implemented reliably
Moderna – no stock for Africa
Johnson & Johnson – only around 50% efficacy
Novavax – only 47% efficacy
Russia’s Sputnik V is available through two private distributors pending approval from SAHPRA under s21, but has not been tested on the 501Y.V2 variant and China’s CoronaVac showed poor trial results in Brazil and has not even reached application stage at SAHPRA and the Department of Agriculture.
That is it, no vaccines for South Africa for now. Suck it up! Vaccination Tourism is looming ….