- Mzansi will not be receiving the Covid-19 vaccine any time soon according to Professor Shabir Madhi from Wits University
- There have only been a certain amount of units that have been produced and South Africa is not in line to receive them
- The vaccine also needs to be stored at an extremely low temperature which is hard to achieve in South African facilities, it would be too costly
Amidst reports that there will be a Covid-19 vaccine available in the US, South Africans got their hopes up in hoping that the same will happen for them. However, according to Wits University professor of vaccinology Shabir Madhi, the chances of South Africa getting a vaccine soon are "highly unlikely".
“The most highly optimistic projection is that we’d be fortunate to get any by the end of the second quarter next year,” he said.
Pfizer and BioNTech will only be able to produce 40-million units of the vaccine, which means that Mzansi should tone down the excitement. By next year they will be able to produce 1.3 billion units but people should keep in mind that each person needs two doses.
The vaccine needs to be kept at -70°C and South Africa barely has any facilities to achieve such low temperatures.
“You won’t be able to just pitch up at a pharmacy or clinic for a shot. To set up more storage facilities of that nature would take a huge amount of time and expense,” said Madhi.
Also because of the nature of load shedding in South Africa, it would just not be successful. The vaccine is so sensitive that if there is a power cut without the necessary backup, the vaccine would not be able to be used.
In other news, Briefly.co.za previously reported that the Covid-19 death toll recorded in Mzansi might be inaccurate and more. According to a new analysis, the Covid-19 deaths recorded in South Africa could have been under-reported by the authorities. If a number of excess deaths were linked to Covid-19, this would push South Africa much higher in the global rankings.
The analysis was made by Professor Alex van den Heever, who is the chair of the University of the Witwatersrand School of Governance. Researchers found that 19 539 deaths out of about 49 251 excess deaths were reported to be due to Covid-19.
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