HILARY JOFFE: Private vaccine funding a potential shot in the arm for entire process
The government has to lead the procurement of the vaccine doses SA will require because the global manufacturers will deal only with governments
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...