As Thesele, MoH differ on vaccine initiation
The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Thesele â€˜Maseribane, who is also the Governmentâ€™s spokesperson, and the health ministry have given opposing accounts about the covid-19 vaccine initiation.
While â€˜Maseribane maintains that vaccine will not be passed to the populace before being tested by local health experts, Drâ€˜ Makhoase Ranyali Head of Family Health at the Ministry of Health, insists that there will be no such since the vaccine will come having gone through various verifications and tests.
â€˜Maseribane, however, was quick to indicate that the Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo will furnish the government with necessary details while prepping for the vaccine.
â€œMinister of Health will have to furnish the government with a detailed report for a way forward prior to preps for the vaccine. He will have to show a breakdown of the money and how it is going to be utilised, then I will make a press conference to let the nation know,â€ said â€˜Maseribane.
According to â€˜Maseribane, the vaccine will not be rolled out before local health professionals can take it through domestic tests to ensure that it is safe to inject people with.
â€œWhen the report and the way forward have been provided we will be able to start injecting people, the vaccine has to also be tested before being disseminated countrywide to inject our people,â€ he said.
However, in an interesting turn of events, the Ministry of Healthâ€™s Head Family Health â€˜Makhoase Ranyali, repudiated â€˜Maseribaneâ€™s contention saying that just as is the case with any modern medicinal product or vaccine, the vaccine will come to Lesotho ready to be passed onto the people with no need to be tested or verified by local health experts.
She stressed that it is quite comical to think that the covid-19 vaccine can be subjected to local testing yet it has already gone through various levels of trials and duly been satisfied for human intake.
â€œThe vaccine doesnâ€™t have to be examined, every vaccine and medicine or any pharmaceutical drug has not been tested before it gets in the country. Every vaccine passes many trials on many levels before it is approved. It has to pass those trials; it is tested many times until it is regarded as fit to be used on a human beingâ€™s body.
â€œEvery vaccine or medicine has after effects, even panado, penicillin, multivitamin or any, have differing effects on the patientsâ€™ body,â€ she said.
She said they are already in talks with on organisation called GAVI from Geneva Switzerland.
According to Ranyali, the Organisation is going to donate the 20% of vaccine to Lesotho in April which will be used to inject first and foremost the frontline workers- health care professionals to be followed by the vulnerable people.
She went on to explain that the remaining 80 per cent vaccine package will arrive after six months as they are only preparing for its storage.
â€œWe are going to be given a 20% free Vaccine in April, furnished by Organisation GAVI. The 3 % will be given to health care workers in hospitals and clinics,â€ she said.
â€œThen the 17% will be given to the vulnerable; especially the elderly and those in prisons, as we have seen that they are dying in large numbers due to this pandemic.
â€œThe 80% is the one that the country has put aside the M240million to purchase it,â€ she said.
â€œWe are working with GAVI on the preparations of the vaccine. Currently we are working towards ensure that we setup secure spaces where the vaccine will be kept in districts. GAVI will also help to provide the mobile cold rooms, so right now we are in gold chain with the progression of vaccine preparations.
â€œWe have also partnered with Corvax facility, UNICEF and World Health Organisation which help developing countries like Lesotho to have the vaccine.
â€œWe are also enlarging our communication system to in the districts where people will be given the information and clarity about the vaccine,â€ she said.
She further emphasized that the vaccine is not going to be tested or examined to ensure that itâ€™s not toxic to the human body.
â€œWhen we have the 80% of vaccine, we will then be aided by the surveillance data according to age. We have seen that the pandemic kills old people in large numbers and that is due to many sicknesses that attack them due to their age like diabetes and high blood pressure, so we have decided to start from 16 years old upwards,â€ she said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo could not be reached for his input as he let both his phones ring unanswered. ï¿½ï¿½È¥ï¿½ï¿½