By: Kaya 959 News
As of Friday, 19 March, South Africa has dealt with over 1-million COVID-19 cases and 51,724 deaths caused by the dangerous virus.
To stop the spread of the coronavirus, the country received the Johnson & Johnson vaccines in February and are expected to vaccinate 67% of the population by next year.
“Our target is to vaccinate 67% of the population by the end of 2021, which will allow us to achieve herd immunity,” states the government website.
However, Deputy President David Mabuza says the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is not happening as fast as government had hoped.
He was speaking while visiting pharmaceutical company Biovac Insitute in Cape Town.
This was to view the abilities the facility has in allowing the country to manufacture its own vaccines in the future.
So far – the number of healthcare workers vaccinated is over the 177,000 mark.
Mabuza says a shortage in supplies of the vaccine is a major hurdle in upscaling the rollout.
While government deals with some delays in receiving more supplies of COVID-19 vaccine doses, calls are continuing for efforts to be ramped up to allow the country the manufacture its own vaccines in future.
Section 27 has called a meeting with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition to address patent laws.
The Centre says South Africa’s current patent laws limit the access to medicines for various health conditions.
The group says it is concerned about the impact of these laws on the fight against COVID-19.
Spokesperson for the organisation Julia Chaskalson says they are hoping for an effective meeting later this month.