Pharmacists as vaccinators in South Africa – addressing COVID-19 and beyond

As the world grapples with subsequent waves of COVID-19, the only hope for ending this pandemic is successful vaccination. As of March 2021, over 2.7 million people have succumbed to the virus globally and the number is still rising.1 Hence, the news that some pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna had managed to successfully develop a vaccine was uplifting and welcomed. South Africa joined the COVAX Facility, thereby ensuring the country would have access to these vaccines via the financing mechanism.2 Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 for South Africa, advised that the appropriate vaccine option should be a single dose vaccine to reduce the burden on medical infrastructure and cost, and the selected candidate vaccine should also be compatible with existing platforms of vaccine technology currently used in the country for ease of roll-out.3 Once vaccines are approved as safe and efficacious by our regulatory authority, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), they are registered and roll-out will begin.

 

Image source:  Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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