Coronavirus, South Africa eceive its first Covid-19 vaccine doses.
You know uh and we’re, not alone. You know there are countries like, for example, australia and paris and we’re only starting in march. France has only kind of got a very fraction of this smaller, i think less than one percent, so it’s, not that we’re really that far behind we’re, starting now in february, uh it’s, maybe what a month later than uh say even united kingdom, which is one of The first you started, but yes, you know, i think that i think it’s a problem with the with the actual system itself. No vaccines. Unfortunately there’s been a bit of. I can only use one word: greed from the high income countries because they’ve been buying up vaccine uh gosh, i think three or four or five times what the population needs, and this has kind of left other countries milling countries yeah behind. So this is a problem. Well, precisely because we could have anticipated that that might happen. I i guess i raised the question because if we made a shambles of trying to acquire the vaccine, even if you had millions and millions and millions of doses available, would we be ready to vaccinate? In other words when they arrive here on monday what’s. Our strategy to distribute the vaccine are we in charge of that, or are we also going to muck that one up a bit? I can see you kind of got a fairly challenging view of this. Now. Look, i think, last night, that kind of went into great detail which that’s just a lot longer than i thought – and this was very very – i thought very comprehensive.
So yes, i mean that is what’s in paper. Obviously this has to be put into place, but uh certainly the kind of preparations. I think the kind of details uh are there in in in in paper and planning um. Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see how successfully, but i think we need to come to some extent have a bit of trust, and you know we have had the undertakings from the government from the from always in the president there’s going to be a campaign like No other campaign that we’ve had so the details are certainly have been kind of put down in the very, very comprehensive reindeer sure. Look that happens. I agree with you. They are comprehensive. They’Ve got uh ambitious plans, 40 million by the end of the year. Part of the problem we’re going to have to contend with are people who are skeptical about the vaccines, people who are hesitant and what we certainly cannot do is come up with grand plans that we’re unable to implement that is going to create a bigger trust deficit. Yeah absolutely look, i think if you get them out on the head. I think one of the things which really is concerning is the vaccine essence, and i think that really, the onus is really put on to us, as the health professionals to kind of get out. The information good scientific information to reassure the population. We also trust on you as well media to kind of help us as well.
We know we’re, not great communicators, so you know the media has to come to the party as well to kind of put across good information. Scientific information and kind of you know put to rest all the conspiracies and the misinformation, because, unfortunately, is a lot of that. That goes around there’s also social media there’s also a question to be raised about whether or not we’ve been told everything we ought to know even about the new wave. If you look at the number of people who are dying, if you look at how quickly those people have been dying, the number of cases we’re told, of course, that this new wave doesn’t necessarily make one sicker. But people have had questions around well hang on, then. Why is it so many more people seem to succumb to this new wave than what we saw during that first peak yeah. You know these. I think you use the right word seen you know they. This impression. Certainly, the clinicians and many of my friends or our clinicians have kind of also had that impression that it is mostly. But when you look at the actual data, because the data is not, what really kind of is is a scientific truth, uh and uh when when they compare the data per population, obviously the second way they far more extensive than the uh than the first drives. The far more people getting infected and that may reflect in the number of people being hospitalized, for example.
They also reflect in the kind of downward spectrum of age, for example. But when you look at the data of of severity, uh between the second and first wave per individual, which got infected, it doesn’t seem to be uh any different and, i think that’s a fairly universal thing in the united kingdom. I know that they said these. Their ministers of health seem to imply that they vary and that their variant caused more severe disease, but that’s based on a few studies. Other people have come have contested that and now i think that i think that the jury may still be able to look at that, but certainly up to now the data doesn’t show that the second world’s been more so yeah per individual is infected let’s fast forward To monday the fact that the vaccines arrive from india what happens in the following days? Well, according you know, i can just echo what you said last night, because i’m not really involved in that, but there are various processes. After this, there are bash inspections or uh they’ve got a. There are various licensing procedures which have to take place and, according to the minister of health, that would be about 14 days to get through all those kind of various procedures which outlined last night, uh iva mekten your opinion on what we are now hearing from the South african health products regulatory authority saying they’re, going to allow a controlled, compassionate use of this drug to treat covet 19.
just give us a layer of the land. As far as that is concerned, i mean, is it? Is it curative? Is it preventative what’s? The official word well, you know you know, i think there have been claims that it may do both, but these are claims which haven’t, yet there may still be, but haven’t yet been proven uh to the satisfaction of the lighting authority that they, who are the guardians Really of the safety of these of these medicines and and um, and and so on that they need to be convinced from good scientific uh evaluation that it is safe and they’re disaffected and that can only come from well controlled clinical trials. So at the moment that data hasn’t been forthcoming, but i believe that there is a controlled trial which has been started. I think at the university of free state – and hopefully that will tell us you know if the data is good, then of course it will be licensed. But until you get to that stage they can’t license it. So so i mean what does the approval mean then? Does that mean i can go uh, presumably, if not to my doctor to my vet, to ask for ivamekton how? How many can i take for how long? How does it work if it, even if that’s the announcement we heard yesterday yeah, i think, they’re separate? It was about to kind of give details it’s supposed to be some it’s supposed to be a more streamlined.
You see up to now, you could apply what’s called a section 21 x, um exemption, otherwise, but there was a rather cumbersome administrative kind of procedure. I think that’s now being speeded up or streamlined. The exact details of which i think separa is about to call it gives you know, is exactly what you’re asking: how is it going to work um, but i don’t think they, i think, they’re supposed to be coming either today or tomorrow, they’re going to make that Announcement so don’t rush and buy it wait and see well at the moment, it’s actually illegal, to buy it and it’s illegal to dispense it, but presumably that’s. Those rough edges will be kind of smoothed out a bit. Now, all right, professor barry shubh, the chairperson of the ministerial advisory committee on covet 19 on the line there are you comforted? Are you given some sense of confidence about the plans going forward, or does that raise even more questions in your head? Your voice making a difference.