sakeliga officials covid-19 vaccination


Unrest latest: KZN and Gauteng riots led to loss of nearly 50 000 vaccines

The projected number of COVID-19 vaccines lost due to the unrest in KZN and gauteng has DOUBLED after 120 pharmacies were looted.

sakeliga officials covid-19 vaccination


The violent riots and looting the took place in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gatueng this month led to the loss of billions relating to infrastructural damage and loss of income for thousands of businesses, but it has now been revealed that the chaos had a devastating impact on South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine supplies too. 

Government confirmed on Friday that looters wreaked havoc on pharmacies in those provinces, resulting in the los of around 47 500 life-saving vaccines intended to boost South Africa’s fight against the deadly pandemic. 

Over 100 pharmacies looted  

The Department of Health said on Friday that despite the damage to many pharmacies that held stores of vaccines, major vaccination sites were fortunate not to bear the brunt of the looting. 

“There was loss of vaccines due to looting. An estimated 120 private pharmacies were destroyed, which led to a loss of approximately 47 500 vaccine doses and lots of damage to infrastructure,” they said. 

“Fortunately, a majority of public vaccination sites were not damaged.” 

Setback to vaccine rollout assessed

After a distressingly slow start, South Africa’s vaccine rollout has begun to show signs of recovery over the past month, with 6 085 108 vaccines having been administered to date. 

Department of Health deputy director-general Dr Nicholas Crisp said earlier this week that the total number of vaccine doses feared to have been lost during the unrest sat at around 25 000, but that number has doubled since investigations into the devastation have commenced. 

He added on Wednesday that the number of vaccinations that should have taken place in the affected provinces but could not be administered due to the violence forcing the closure of vaccination sites sat at around 250 000 vaccines. 

“The estimated number of missed vaccination is around 250 000 based on the number of vaccinations that the provinces were doing before the disruptions. The actual loss of doses looks like around 25 000, but we are still getting information in terms of those lost or destroyed,” Crisp said.