Northern Cape Experiences Challenges For Second Phase Of Vaccine Roll-Out

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health which visited the province this week, raised concerns about the risk posed by the challenges to the vaccine roll-out programme.

Northern Cape experiences challenges for second phase of vaccine roll-out

By Aasra Bramdeo

The province only has 2 400 nurses to service the entire province.

The Northern Cape’s public healthcare system is experiencing serious challenges as it prepares for the roll-out of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The province only has 2 400 nurses to service the entire province.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health which visited the province this week, raised concerns about the risk posed by the challenges to the vaccine roll-out programme.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the province is pushing for an urgent briefing from the COVID-19 Command Council due to a spike in infections.

Meanwhile on Thursday South African-born American biotech medical entrepreneur announced a R3 billion investment towards vaccine development in South Africa.

Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, who was born in Gqeberha and studied at Wits Medical School in the 1970s, is the founder of Nantworks, a network of healthcare, biotech and artificial intelligence start-ups based in California in the US.

He made the investment announcement during a webinar hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week.

We as an organisation, we’ll commit an initial R3 billion to catalyse this activity in SA and then work with Africa so that the capacity and most importantly second-generation vaccinology, second generation cell therapy, second generation delivery systems could be enabled.

I also need to say that beyond COVID-19, we need worry about diseases like schistosomiasis; tropical diseases have been neglected because they’re African.

Cancer like burkitt’s lymphoma, HIV and one of the most urgent things is this non-infectious epidemic called cancer, the survival rates in Africa is terrible so with that, I just want to announce is that our goal and our commitment is to come back to SA and transfer this kind of technology, Soon-Shiong says.

Vaccine production and access in Africa:

Dr Soon-Shiong’s other company, ImmunityBio, is reportedly already conducting vaccine trials in South Africa in a partnership with local vaccine producer BioVac.

He says he has been in talks with the government, Professor Tulio de Oliveira of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform as well as Dr Glenda Gray of the SA Medical Research Council.

Soon-Shiong says he believes South Africa has the science, human capital and capacity.

Originally published at Sabc news

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