The Democratic Alliance has launched a petition which calls on the Gauteng Provincial Government to make every effort to get vaccines from around the world wherever they are available.
This is because the sole reliance on national government to procure vaccines is unnecessary and unwise as health is a provincial competence.
The Gauteng Health Department has set a target of 10.72 million to achieve herd immunity and effectively stop the virus spreading, but projected supplies of vaccines will not arrive in time to mitigate an expected third wave of infections in early winter.
Whereas the national government promised vaccines for health workers before the end of January, it now appears that this can only take place in mid-February due to logistic and quality control issues
Last week the Gauteng Health Department said it would vaccinate 150 000 health workers staring on 1 February, which shows how out of touch they are.
Gauteng should follow the Western Cape where DA Premier Alan Winde is trying to get extra vaccines from different suppliers.
The benefits of vaccines for saving lives and livelihoods in Gauteng are immense, and the earlier the better. Not more than R1 billion will be needed to vaccinate 10 million people in Gauteng, which is less than 1% of the total provincial budget. It is also far less than what has been misspent, wasted and stolen in this province from money allocated to fight the pandemic.
The petition will be run on social media and can be found http://petitions.da.org.za/p/more-vaccines-now