BRIEF: What’s the word with vaccines?

Apart from when their January salary is arriving, the only thing South Africans really want to know is when our vaccines will land. Here’s a quick run-down: SA has bought 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute in India. These are expected to reach home soil between January and February. Worryingly, Business Day reports that SA will be paying almost double the price for these vaccines compared to what the EU negotiated with AstraZeneca last year. That’s because those countries invested in the vaccines’ research and development. And as we are all painfully reminded every time President Ramaphosa talks, SA is kinda broke. But Ramaphosa has promised that, come hell or high water, SA will find the money to pay for its vaccines. Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane said this week that vaccines could be paid for through emergency funding, made available by the Treasury, with talks of a tax hike also on the cards… (Please no: our wallets are already screaming). SA has also secured vaccines via the African Union and the global vaccine effort called Covax, which should arrive later this year. Read more about it here.

This brief was originally published in The Wrap here.

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