“Leaders Must Test The Vaccine,” Ntsiki Mazwai. A few days ago the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine received first major approval to roll-out in the UK. Today (Tuesday) a 90-year-old British woman, became the first in the world to get Pfizer Covid vaccine outside of a trial. After her a number of people got the vaccine.
The vaccine requires two doses, administered at least three weeks apart. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine offers 95% protection against Covid-19. Seven to 10 days after the second dose, patients should be protected against the virus. All eyes are on the UK, as the world awaits positive results.
While countries like the United States and UK are speeding ahead with approval, this will not be South Africa’s plan of action, according to Barry Schoub, chair of South Africa’s ministerial advisory committee on coronavirus vaccines. In large part it is because South Africa does not have the expendable income to buy massive amounts of multiple vaccine candidate.
The vaccine also needs to be stored and transported at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Although Pfizer says they’ve designed special shipping containers to help maintain this temperature, the shot still requires specialized freezers which are not readily available in South Africa’s healthcare facilities. These unfeasible storage requirements, along with the vaccine’s high price point, means it is unlikely that the jab will be South Africa’s first choice.
Weighing in on the possibility of the vaccine making it to South Africa, Ntsiki Mazwai wants our leaders to try it first. The outspoken poet, singer and TV personality, wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to be among the first people who try out the vaccine.