Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has criticised government's vaccination programme, saying the poor would be left behind to suffer in the COVID-19 pandemic, reports News24. Makgoba said when he delivered the Easter vigil sermon at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town that he was was sceptical about government's target to vaccinate 41m people, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The public healthcare system had been "poisoned" by rampant corruption, he added.
"We know that political leadership has been woefully lacking in the worst areas affected: shame on those who have left hospitals and clinics short of people, equipment and protection. I have read that on the current strategy it would take 18 years to vaccinate our entire present population! We cannot allow that to happen," Makgoba said.
"Make no mistake, we are a world-class country. Our medical scientists are world-class. Ten years ago, we built world-class soccer stadiums and ran a world-class World Cup. Distributing and administering vaccines is not rocket science, it's just a matter of getting the logistics right. If humankind can send a spacecraft 470m kilometres to Mars and gently drop a landing rover onto the planet's surface, surely South Africans can come up with a co-ordinated plan to collaborate in getting vaccines quickly to every corner of our country?"
He has called on government and business in South Africa to develop a coordinated plan with "a clear, achievable, published timetable for getting everyone their vaccines."
News24 reports that Makgoba said he had written to director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr Anthony Fauci, telling him that the COVAX vaccine programme and the bilateral agreements used to procure vaccines globally were failing.