Budget 2021: Govt to launch ’no-fault’ fund to protect vaccine companies from being sued
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Cape Town - The government plans to put in a place a no-fault campaign fund to cover claims linked to Covid-19 inoculations, Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni said.
This measure is meant to protect vaccine companies from being sued for the side-effects linked to the vaccines.
The revelation was made during Mboweni’s 2021 budget speech on Wednesday.
It still remains unclear how much the government would be budgeting towards this fund.
Mboweni did however reveal that Treasury will budget more than R10 billion in spending towards the purchase and delivery of vaccines over the next two years.
He explained the tough economic conditions from the previous year had hit hard on people's health and jobs.
Close to 50 000 South Africans have died from Covid-19 related complications and the country has recorded close to 1.5 million infections. On Tuesday StatsSA announced that the unemployment rate had increased in the fourth quarter of 2020 and now sits at 32.5%.
Mboweni said the roll-out of the country's vaccine campaign showed promise for the country's efforts for economic recovery.
Additional funding will also be allocated within the contingency reserves for additional vaccine needs.
"We are allocating more than R10 billion for the purchase and delivery of vaccines over the next two years. We increase the contingency reserve from R5 billion to R12 billion to make provision for the further purchase of vaccines and to cater for other emergencies," Mboweni said.
Mboweni said provinces will receive an additional allocation of R8 billion for provincial health departments for Covid-19.
"Of the R10.3 billion for vaccines, R2.4 billion is allocated to provincial departments of health to administer the Covid-19 vaccine programme," he said.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhzie had indicated that the country had ordered millions of vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna was also on the cards.
The country has so far begun vaccinating thousands of healthcare workers with the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine as part of an implementation study. Thousands of more doses are expected on Saturday.