Is the government’s plan to ration Covid-19 vaccines falling apart? SA faces extreme vaccine scarcity, and the department of health has only a vague framework for allocation. In phase one, 1-million health workers were to be vaccinated, followed by the current second phase, in which 16.5-million over-60s and other vulnerable groups are due to receive protection. The third phase should cover a residual 20-million.

The government has rightly been keen to avoid rationing on the basis of power and money. In the early years of the HIV/Aids pandemic treatments went to those with private medical insurance, key workers in large companies, and public servants with medical aid. City-dwellers and the middle classes were advantaged. The less educated, the poor, and those living in rural areas were in effect excluded...

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