Deputy President David Mabuza says government has developed an awareness campaign aimed at educating members of the public on the dangers of utilising unregistered COVID-19 vaccine centres.
The Deputy President said this when he replied to oral questions at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
As part of its agenda, not only does government want to acquire COVID-19 vaccines that are manufactured abroad, there is also an intention to locally manufacture them.
Against this background, and to be successful in such aspirations, government must counter illegal activities such as the production of sub-standard or falsified vaccines.
“Furthermore, we have through the communication workstream of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 vaccines, developed a public awareness campaign to conscientise the public on the dangers of utilising unregistered vaccine centres.
“There are also webinars and radio programmes that are being utilised to engage various stakeholders on vaccine corruption risks, as well as in how we could jointly implement mitigation measures.
“Communication of detection and prosecution of any corruption will be done on a regular basis to enhance transparency and public accountability,” he said.
The Deputy President said all registered vaccine centres will be published on various platforms to that all citizens can have access to this information.
He said government is working towards increasing the number of testing laboratories to expedite quality assurance of all vaccines produced.
All suppliers will be requested to produce regulatory certificates to buyers, providing a unique identifier on delivery of the vaccines and online verification of that certificate.
“Ultimately, we are confident of the effectiveness of the plans we have made and the measures we have put in place to combat any form of corruption.”
The most important intervention at this first phase, which is targeted at vaccinating healthcare workers, is to require those being inoculated to produce proof of employment. “This means that people cannot jump the queue by falsely claiming to be frontline workers in the healthcare sector.”