South African medical insurance companies, business organisations and the government are developing a programme in which the private sector will help fund COVID-19 vaccines for people not covered by insurance, according to a Bloomberg report.
Legislation has been amended to allow the companies to fund shots for people who don’t have medical insurance and talks are now focused on the number of those who may benefit, said Mr Stavros Nicolaou, head of the Health Workgroup for Business for South Africa, a grouping of South Africa’s biggest business organisations. He said, “For every funded person, there will be a contribution to the unfunded.”
Allowing medical insurers or companies to import vaccines solely for their own members or employees could spark tension in South Africa, which is one of the world’s most unequal societies.
The collaboration between the government and medical insurers could help fund vaccines for about 30% of the population, in addition to supplies expected from the Covax initiative, said Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach.
South Africa, with 1.11m confirmed infections and more than 30,000 deaths, is the nation in Africa worst affected by COVID-19.