The minister of Health and wellness- Honourable Dr. Edwin Dikoloti holds that Botswana will go ahead with its plan to procure the AstraZeneca vaccine for Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).
“Our intended outcome is well-covered by what AstraZeneca offers,” Minister Edwin Dikoloti said in response to a question in parliament.
Although the government is moving ahead with its plan, the neighboring South Africa had purchased the same vaccine and has since paused the rollout due to the observation that the AstraZeneca vaccine does is not effective against the variant strand 501Y.V2.
The variant, which is attributable to the second wave of the COVID-19 at South Africa has seen the escalated numbers of infections and the rise in death toll.
Completing a task by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) in collaboration with the National Health Laboratory has confirmed the presence of the 501Y.V2 variant in Botswana.
Botswana’s death toll attributable to COVID-19 has been escalating for the past few months, and it is safe to assume the 501Y.V2 variant might be attributable.
It is against this background that it is rather surprising that Botswana is moving ahead with acquiring the AstraZeneca vaccine while South Africa is backing down on it.