The Covid-19 Vaccines Injury No-Fault Compensation Scheme is one of the critical components in ensuring that there are no hindrances in delivering a successful vaccination plan in South Africa.
The deputy president, David Mabuza, emphasized this during replies to questions in the national assembly yesterday.
Discussing the No-Fault Compensation Scheme, the deputy president declared that the Covid-19 vaccine market is very different from the usual market for medicines.
“Globally, countries have limited options since all Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers have adopted the same approach.
Therefore, countries must accept full liability for the vaccines acquired. In our case as South Africa, it was either we accept these clauses, or as a country we do not have access to any vaccines”, he said.
According to the deputy president, the scheme will be in operation for a limited time.
“In the main, this scheme will provide expeditious and easy access to compensation for persons who suffer harm, loss or damage as a result of vaccine injury that may be caused by the administration of a Covid-19 vaccine specified in terms of regulation, at a facility within the country. We have a responsibility to ensure that our people are protected through this scheme”, he said.
As regards manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa, the deputy president indicated that government continues to “forge ahead with plans of building capacity to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines locally, through harnessing our existing manufacturing capabilities in partially state owned Biovac Institute as well as research and development capabilities with partners in BRICS”.
In terms of the impact of the Coronavirus on global health systems, the deputy president pointed out that government has introduced routine testing irrespective of symptoms for certain high-risk groups, People Living with HIV, contacts of all people diagnosed with TB and people who have been previously treated for TB in the past year.
The South African National AIDS Council Inter-Ministerial Committee has also approved the integration of HIV/AIDS, TB and Covid-19 programmes, as well as the fast-tracking of HIV/AIDS and TB catch-up plans in order to make up for HIV/AIDS and TB client losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.