AfriForum and Solidarity in court to stop exclusive rights to vaccines

Health News

Tebogo Msimanga |

AfriForum and Solidarity will on Thursday,1 July 2021 continue in court with their fight against the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAPRA).

The two organisations want SAHPRA’s condition that only the government may purchase the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be set aside. The two organisations question the legality of these conditions and request more information about the conditions as set by SAHPRA.

Head of Legal Affairs at Solidarity Anton van der Bijl said it is illegal to set conditions that enable the state to centralise vaccines.

“SAPHRA’s mandate is to investigate the efficacy of vaccines and medicines – not to give the state exclusive purchasing rights. We can only conclude that the state is interfering improperly to sharpen its grip on the health sector.”

Van der Bijl added that the government has already proven its incompetence during the pandemic through its inability to administer the vaccine rollout programme effectively. “Further enabling the government to control vaccines will have disastrous consequences”.

Meanwhile, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum Ernst van Zyl said “It is beyond our senses to watch the ANC government continue to fight for a state monopoly on the purchase and distribution of vaccines while the country’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, is on special leave due to serious allegations of corruption.

He reiterated that the government’s delayed vaccine rollout programme is just further proof of how they cannot earn or handle a monopoly with the vaccines.

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