LETTER: Why not use Russian vaccine, and private enterprise?
The Sputnik vaccine comes with decided advantages and should be seriously considered
The Russians have offered the Sputnik V vaccine to any country and have promised to help set up production facilities for those that want to make it themselves. A Google search indicates that 14 countries have ordered over 200-million doses of the vaccine from Russia. A number of countries, including India, Korea and Kazakhstan, have already set up production facilities.
According to a report on Russia Today, Germany is also interested in producing the vaccine and is waiting on the EU to approve it. The Russian vaccine can be stored in normal refrigerators, which is a huge advantage over the -80°C storage requirements for some other vaccines.
Prof Abdool Karim, who chairs SA’s Covid ministerial advisory committee, has said he regrets that we did not start setting up production facilities for the vaccine in June. What prevents the government from doing so now? The virus is probably going to be around for many years and will keep mutating, which will require regular updates to the vaccine.
Why is the government stopping private enterprise from entering the vaccine market? What are the disadvantages of private enterprise supplying vaccines through pharmacies or hospitals?
Jeremy Gordon, Sea Point
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