Let the health proffessionals handle the vaccination effoet-Winde warned by ANC

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has been told to leave the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to the health professionals rather than trying to acquire it independently from national government. 

During a briefing with Parliament’s health portfolio committee, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo revealed that Winde had been in talks with vaccine suppliers to secure a potential ‘extra need for additional shots’. 

“The Premier, in his capacity as provincial commander of the council for COVID-19, has been engaging with suppliers and various other stakeholders with regard to the issue of vaccines We know for sure there will be a time where there might be an extra need to expand beyond some of the priorities the nation has provided for – and therefore, it is crucial we do that,” she said. 

Western Cape leader of the ANC Cameron Dugmore released a statement advising Winde to refrain from “playing politics”.  

“I call on the Premier to leave the vaccination effort to the health professionals currently dealing with it. Don’t feel the need to appease DA leader John Steenhuisen: just do your job. You are much more effective when you ignore the DA’s petty politics,” the statement said. 

According to Dugmore, Provincial Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete serves on the National Health Task Team on Vaccination and explained how the process of procurement is working and encouraged cooperation with national government. Dugmore said Winde thereafter made mention of trying to secure vaccines for the province. 

“The Premier must do his job and show that he is not Steenhuisen’s lap dog. We are in this together. Vaccinations starting with our frontline health workers and eventually reaching 2/3 of the population [is] the greatest logistical operation ever undertaken. We need unity of purpose at this time when some people are spreading claims about various remedies and also trying to discredit the vaccination process itself,” said Dugmore. 

“We should add that the DA is grandstanding because the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture vaccines only deal with national governments and not with provinces,” he added. 

‘IT WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE TO SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING’ – WINDE

While Winde said the Western Cape Government is excited about national government procuring stock of 1.5 million vaccine doses for delivery in January and February, he said it is not enough for the general population. 

“It would therefore be irresponsible for our government, which does have a health competency under the Constitution, to sit back and do nothing. As part of our due diligence as a provincial government, we will, of course, accept vaccines if we are able to secure more of them,” said Winde in response to Dugmore’s statement. 

“This would not only be for the benefit of the Western Cape, but also for the country as a whole. South Africa faces an enormous challenge in securing vaccines after being late to order them, and any additional vaccines secured should be viewed as positive assistance to our national cause,” he added. 



 

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