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Government struggles to procure E200million COVID-19 vaccines, Nurses Union warns of second jab disaster.

Thursday, 27th May, 2021

MBABANE: Mayibongwe Masangane, the Secretary General of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) has warned that those who received the first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine are likely to miss the deadline for the second jab.

This comes after Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health announced that the arrival of the 500 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which were expected this week would be delayed due to new requirements from AstraZeneca. 

Speaking to this Swaziland News, the Nurses Secretary General said the country is likely to miss the the deadline for the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine since government always relied on donations .

"Those who received the first jab are likely to miss the deadline, missing the deadline will weaken their defense against the virus.This is caused by the fact that government doesn't  want to commit itself into the procurement of these vaccines, as a country we are always relying on donations. We want to see government using the budgeted E200million instead of these political statements", he said.

Addressing the Nation from the Cabinet offices on Thursday, Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health said there was a slight delay in the arrival of the 500 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that were expected this week, due to new requirements from AstraZeneca. But she assured the Nation that the vaccines would be delivered in time.

"We would also like to assure the Nation that the guidelines from AstraZeneca for the time frame between the first and the second dose is 12 weeks.The dates that the Ministry of Health shared for the second dose were deliberately set at 10 weeks to allow time for is to reach everyone who required the second dose", she said.

The  Minister further mentioned that Government  would use the E 200 million it set aside for vaccines to procure the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.There were also negotiations to procure the Moderna vaccine through the Kirsh Foundation and  negotiations were also  ongoing  on the procurement of the Sputnik V through the Gamaleya institute.

Government struggles to procure E200million COVID-19 vaccines, Nurses Union warns of second jab disaster.
Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi