South Africa: Week Four - Minister Mkhize Placed On Special Leave As Northern Cape and Netcare Face Supply Constraints

analysis

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was placed on special leave as he visited the Northern Cape to find a way to boost the province's vaccination roll-out. Meanwhile, Netcare has scaled back vaccination because of a lack of vaccine doses and Western Cape nursing students have stepped up as vaccinators.

The Northern Cape has vaccinated 8,132 people in the province across seven vaccination sites. It had used all vaccine doses available to it before the latest delivery over the weekend; however, its roll-out faces numerous challenges.

On Tuesday Health Minister Zweli Mkhize visited the Northern Cape to plan how the national Department of Health can boost the province's vaccine roll-out.

Mkhize said the scarcity of human resources, infrastructure and funding, as well as the vast distances between communities, are all posing challenges to the province's vaccination roll-out.

The national Department of Health will help the Northern Cape to source more resources within the budget the province has left, he said.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority is in discussion with the US Food and Drug Administration over the release of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, he said.

"Those vaccines have been ready for a month and...

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