COSATU statement on the COVID-19 Vaccination rollout progress

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with concern reports that the J&J vaccine that is being administered is not formally registered with SA Health Products Regulatory Authority. This needs to be clarified so that South Africans can have confidence in the vaccination programme. The Federation is also perturbed that the vaccination target of 1,5 million that was set up for the month of March has since been revised to 700 000, according to Deputy Minister of Health Joe Phaahla.

This threatens to undermine the very tepid June 2022 70% population immunity target.  The economy simply cannot afford any delays in rolling out the vaccines.  In fact, government and the private sector must move with speed to accelerate the rollout so that we can reach the 70% immunity level within 2021; there is simply no excuse for delays.

The Federation is calling on the government to expedite the vaccination programme if we are to stand any chance of winning the fight against this deadly pandemic ravaging the country. South Africans have been very patient and cooperative with the government’s lockdowns and restrictions; therefore, the government needs to be more efficient with the vaccination programme.

We welcome the openness of government and the platforms that have been opened at NEDLAC for other social partners to participate meaningfully in this immunisation programme.

This vaccination process needs all hands on deck if it is to succeed. South Africa cannot afford to be left behind while other countries are emerging from the pandemic and re-opening their economies. Any failure to meet the set vaccination targets, whilst other countries move with speed will see those countries emerge from the pandemic and open up their economies while isolating South Africa by closing their borders to travel and trade with South Africa.  This will be a fatal blow to our fragile economy.

 Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911

Fax: 011 339 5080

Cell: 060 975 6794