Tuesday, September 28, 2021

BDP defends slow vaccination roll out

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has defended the slow roll out of vaccines to the public.

This comes after government revealed that the country is experiencing shortages of the second dose of AstraZaneca due to a delay in the arrival of the vaccine.

To date, it has been reported that 227, 982 have since received first dose while only 124, 425 have received full vaccination.

BDP Spokesperson Kagelelo Kentse told Sunday Standard that there is little that government can do as the western countries are hogging vaccines to themselves.

“I do not know what would have changed because at the end of the day we need the vaccine and the powerhouses being the UK and America prioritized themselves, they even told the manufacturers that are operating in their countries that they are not going to export the vaccines into Africa before vaccinating their own people”

“There is nothing that government could have done because there are protocols in place as you know there is the WHO, COVAX and bilateral that exists” said Kentse.

He said the roll out of vaccines had long been politicized, indicating that most countries are still suffering as a result of this.

However, Kentse said the main problem has now been lack of communication from government, citing that trust between citizens and government has apparently broken.

“Batswana should be taken into confidence to be told where the problem could be and even when they are told that the vaccines will be coming, they should be told definite timelines”

“There is nothing as pleasant as having an expectation that vaccines will arrive on this day with an indication of how many doses and then again if something goes wrong going back to the citizens to tell them that there has been a problem” added Kentse.

African countries, particularly the approximately 40 nationsrelying on doses from COVAX and the Serum Institute of India, are being left behind as vaccines made in India are diverted for domestic use. 

Just 1% of the 1.3 billion COVID-19 vaccines given globally have been administered in Africa so far and that’s down from 2% a few weeks ago.

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