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Health minister Zweli Mkhize, top officials and advisers said at a briefing on Sunday evening that they were engaged in intense negotiations to gain access to a Covid-19 vaccine for priority individuals as early as February, but made clear that there were no agreements yet in place with any pharmaceutical companies.

The government also made clear that it will procure all Covid-19 vaccines itself for distribution and that private sector organisations or medical schemes will not be permitted to procure independently for their own members. Medical aid scheme members and the private sector will cross-subsidise the public sector...

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