Report: Government Avoided Coronavirus Vaccine Discussions with Pfizer

Report: Government Avoided Coronavirus Vaccine Discussions with Pfizer

- Pfizer has unsuccessfully tried for weeks to approach SA to hold negotiations over the Covid-19

- This is according to a recent report, stemming from a leaked conversation with a top employee at the company

- The government allegedly only engaged with panic started to kick in

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A report has detailed how Pfizer had attempted for an extended period of time to open negotiations with the South African government.

Report: Government Avoided Coronavirus Vaccine Discussions with Pfizer
The government reportedly snubbed negotiations to procure the vaccine. Image: Finnbarr Webster
Source: Getty Images

The pharmaceutical giant had allegedly attempted for months to unsuccessfully enter into discussions over the Covid-19 vaccine.

This controversial situation was exposed after a phone conversation with a top official at the entity was leaked.

News24 reported that the government had opted to begin negotiations only when panic over procurement kicked in.

The employee claims that, by the time the South African government opted to finally come to the table, it had already been too late.

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Speaking to CapeTalkFM's Lester Kiewit, journalist Kyle Cowan detailed how the Department of Health claimed that it was hesitant to make financial commitments despite the urgency to begin rolling out vaccines.

Cowan commented that it had been a struggle deciding whether or not to name the source, due to the possible complications that could arise:

"We struggled whether we should name the person… but naming this person would put them in a difficult position with her or his employer… We verified the authenticity of the recording and conversation… it is indeed a Pfizer employee…"

The Department of Health has yet to respond to requests for comment on the situation.

Earlier, reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa has done his best to reassure South Africans that enough Covid-19 vaccines will be procured amid the continuing pandemic.

The nation's leader has also assured it that money will not serve as an issue in this process. In addition to this, Ramaphosa has confirmed that an inter-ministerial committee has been established to overlook the distribution of the vaccinations:

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"The vaccine is going to be a major boost to our efforts in fighting COVID-19, some people have raised issues about the financing thereof and financing is not going to be a problem because we will be able to pay for these vaccines as we order them."

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize recently announced that 1 million doses of the vaccine will be released in January with another 500 000 released next month.

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Source: Briefly News

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