Why your medical aid isn’t just buying up vaccines

syringe, vaccine, medical

You’re a medical aid member, and you pay your fees religiously – though, let’s be honest, it ain’t cheap.  All this, in the hopes that you’ll be protected in the unfortunate event of a medical emergency. Cue 2020, the medical emergency of a lifetime. But where is your vaccine? You wouldn’t be the first to ask why your medical aid hasn’t yet purchased some jabs directly for its members.

Discovery CEO Adrian Gore explained why this week in a letter to members. Firstly, vaccine producers only sell to national governments not private companies like medical aid schemes, he said. Secondly, even if they did, schemes have a duty, driven by social solidarity, to make sure they’re part of a national programme. That means medical aid members shouldn’t be able to skip the queue, and that all vulnerable people should be vaccinated first. It’s a sensible approach, and one we’re totally behind.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 18 February 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.