Biovac to distribute vaccines to S.Africa health care employees -letter

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African pharmaceutical firm Biovac Institute has been contracted by the governing administration to import, retailer and distribute coronavirus vaccines for frontline healthcare personnel, a letter from the Nationwide Treasury demonstrates.

A health worker walks between beds at a momentary industry healthcare facility established up by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) through the coronavirus ailment (COVID-19) outbreak in Khayelitsha township close to Cape Town, South Africa, July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Health care professionals have urged the governing administration to share a thorough prepare on vaccine rollout throughout the region.

In the letter penned by Director-Common Dondo Mogajane to non-revenue organisation Corruption Look at (CW) and observed by Reuters, Treasury has presented the Section of Overall health acceptance to deviate from ordinary procurement procedures for the transportation, storage and distribution of the vaccines in the brief time period.

The Nationwide Treasury and spokespeople for the Section of Wellbeing did not respond to requests for remark.

Cape Town-primarily based Biovac, part owned by the authorities, has been appointed for three months to provide storage and distribution providers for vaccines to immunise frontline health care staff, the letter confirmed.

“Biovac will be involved in the importation, cold chain storage and distribution of the 1.5 million doses,” Biovac CEO Morena Makhoana instructed Reuters.

South Africa has explained it will receive 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot from the Serum Institute of India (SII), distribute above January and February.

Concerning storage and distribute of vaccines in the medium time period – around a period of time of 6 months – the letter explained the authorities is approaching Imperial Logistics’ Overall health Sciences device, Denmark’s DSV Panalpina, pharmacy chain Clicks Group’s United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD) and Biovac in a shut bidding procedure.

Requested about this, DSV explained it could not remark outdoors of its shut time period, Clicks referred inquiries to the Division of Health and Imperial was not straight away readily available for remark.

The Treasury’s Mogajane was responding to CW’s Govt Director David Lewis who experienced composed to the Treasury looking for clarity relating to emergency procurement and rollout of vaccines.

Mogajane observed that the Auditor-General would be asked at the proper time to perform authentic-time audits of the vaccines procurement method.

“CW is happy that the Auditor-Normal will be associated in oversight of the use of community dollars for vaccine procurement,” the non-gain CW stated in a assertion on Thursday.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla and Wendell Roelf modifying by Promit Mukherjee and Jason Neely