If ever there was a "public good", as economists call it, one that ought to be publicly funded, it's the Covid vaccine. Health minister Zweli Mkhize this week put a price tag of about R20bn on vaccinating the two-thirds of the population needed to achieve herd immunity and halt the Covid crisis. Health industry experts say that's the worst-case, all-inclusive scenario. It shouldn't exactly be a stretch in the context of a R2-trillion government budget - particularly not in the context of an economy and a tax base that have been devastated by the crisis. But it is what it is.

It's now agreed that SA will instead go the route of a partnership in which at least a third and possibly much more of the cost will come from private sources, including millions of medical scheme members...

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