During his address last night, the President gave us an update when it came to where we are with getting it. This comes as we see other countries start rolling out vaccinations to their citizens. He also gave some warnings as the festive season nears.
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During his address last night, the President gave us an update when it came to where we are with getting it. This comes as we see other countries start rolling out vaccinations to their citizens.
President Ramaphosa said that there are now many initiatives in the world to speed up the development of a vaccine but that South Africa awaits confirmation from medicine regulators that these vaccines are safe, effective and suitable for our needs.
"We continue to collaborate with our partners in the international community to ensure that all countries have access to an effective and affordable vaccine," he said.
South Africa is a part of the Covax facility which is the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Global Vaccine Access Facility. They aim to pool resources and share vaccine development risk and thus ensure equitable access to vaccines when they become available, Ramaphosa said.
We are encouraged that the Solidarity Fund will be making the initial contribution of R327 million towards this vaccine procurement on behalf of our country.
The Covax vaccine has shown efficacy levels of between 70 and 95 per cent from its three trials of candidate vaccines.
The country's Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) will review the approval applications when received from the developers and authorise their use.
Ramaphosa said, "As we have said in the past the only viable defence we will have against Covid-19 will be the vaccine" but continued to say that as long as we don't have it, we are still our best protection and should continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing and keeping up hand hygiene.
We must remember that as much as we want to relax, this virus does not take a holiday. This has been a difficult year for us as a country. It has severely tested our resolve and demanded great sacrifices of each and every one of us. But even as the holidays approach, we cannot let our guard down.
South Africans are also advised to avoid large gatherings and going to indoor spaces with poor ventilations.
The country has now also put a resurgence plan into place which was developed with the help of the World Health Organisation. Through this plan, Government is doing the following:
Making more capacity available at hospitals and clinics in hotspot areas
Expanding public health interventions such as testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine
Ramping up awareness campaigns around public health regulations
With the festive season looming, we are urged to act with caution. Should we be traveling for the holidays, we should make sure it isn't unnecessary.
On traveling, Ramaphosa said, "We can also reduce infection risk by wearing a mask in public transport, keeping the vehicle windows open and maintaining prevention measures on arrival".
We cannot return to the darker days of June and July, when transmission of the virus was widespread and the lives of our family and friends were at risk.
We are also encouraged to download the Covid Alert SA mobile app that can notify us if we are exposed to the virus and thereby help to break the chain of transmission.Tags: Cyril Ramaphosapresident south africasa lockdownlockdownday of lockdowncovid19Covid-19coronaviruspandemichand hygienehand sanitisersocial distancingrestaurantscinemashairdresserscovid19 treatmentcovid19 curecovid19 vaccinelockdown regulationsvaccinecovid vaccinesouth africa vaccinecovax