- Further deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines to South Africa have been delayed by the government due to a large stockpile
- Due to teenagers only receiving one dose of the vaccine and increased vaccine hesitancy has resulted in 16.8 million doses being stocked up
- Many African countries are in dire need of vaccines, therefore the doses which were headed to South Africa have been re-routed to needy countries
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The South African government has delayed further deliveries of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines because of a stockpile of 16.8 million doses. Teens only receiving a single dose and fewer people choosing to receive the vaccine has caused the stock issue.
South Africa has one of the highest vaccination figures on the continent, at 35%. The reason such a reasonably low figure is one of the highest in Africa is due to the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy.
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According to News24, the current stockpile is a complete shift from earlier in the year, when vaccination sites were concerned about low stock levels.
Delay of vaccine doses
Many African countries are experiencing vaccine shortages, which makes South Africa a fairly unique case on the continent. The Health Department's deputy director-general, Nicholas Crisp, said that South Africa currently possesses 158 days worth of Covid-19 vaccines.
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The deliveries which would have arrived in South Africa are now being re-routed to African countries which are in desperate need of more doses. South Africa will most likely schedule its next vaccine delivery for early next year.
South Africa aims to tackle vaccine hesitancy and low vaccination figures through various initiatives, including Vooma Vouchers, pop-up vaccination sites, and opening up vaccinations to children between the ages of 12 and 17.
Reactions to vaccine stockpile
"Let's rephrase: South Africa has asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer to delay delivery of Covid-19 vaccines because of high vaccine refusal in the population, health ministry officials say."
"The allocation of money will be transferred to ANC’s Swiss bank account."
"When will South Africans take a stand? When will South Africans chose what they want ?"
"Wow first time something is in surplus in SA."
"This is the plan I can tell, hard lockdown is coming in December."
Vooma Vouchers available to over 50s
These vouchers will be extended to those over 50 in a drive to achieve South Africa's vaccination goals. Vooma Vouchers can be redeemed at any Shoprite, Checkers, or USave store and can be used to buy groceries, airtime, or electricity. The vouchers are valued at R100 each and may not be exchanged for cash.
The previous Vooma Voucher roll-out for over 60-year-olds resulted in a dramatic increase in people in that age group getting vaccinated. The over 60-year-old age group are at a higher risk of experiencing severe Covid-19 cases, which makes vaccination important.