The European Business Council for Africa

South Africa plans to have vaccinated 67% of the population by year-end which should bring the country “herd immunity”. Vaccinations are not compulsory but vaccinated populations limit risk, which would be good news for battle-weary Corporate SA. Vaccines undergo rigorous trials to ensure they are safe and effective. All vaccines go through a comprehensive approval process by medical regulators to ensure that they are safe. Pharmaceutical companies hand over all laboratory studies and safety trials to validate that the vaccine does work. The funding for the vaccines are two-fold, for insured citizens, the cost will be derived from their medical schemes and administered for free at the point of service. Uninsured individuals will be funded by Government and the vaccination will be free. Anecdotal evidence suggests some companies are experiencing push-back in getting staff to return to physical workspaces. What will the implications of being vaccinated be for the workplace and remote working. Several factors will determine the impact of vaccines on the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors include the effectiveness of the vaccines; how quickly they are approved, manufactured, and delivered; and how many individuals are vaccinated. The vaccines are likely to prevent large outbreaks once two thirds of the population (approximately 40million people) are immune which will take many months to achieve.

Key discussion points:

  • How will the roll-out plan work in South Africa? Will it be fast enough?

  • Will the private sector be able to be involved? What does this mean for people with and without medical aids?

  • Should companies institute policies that require staff to carry "vaccination passports"?

  • Is the J&J vaccine effective? If someone has been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine will it be helpful for further strains on COVID?

  • What will happen when travel starts again and different countries have been vaccinated in different ways?

  • Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) will this work? What are the legal ramifications of this?

  • How will the electronic system work practically in the informal sector? Would this have an impact on people's rights?

  • Will COVID vaccines provide long-term protection?

  • Are there any side-effects to the vaccine?

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Source: Invest Africa