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It’s your choice not to vaccinate but please consider collective

Personal choice versus collective responsibility is going to be one of the key ethical issues over the coming months, he says.

Dr Cloete says the Western Cape supports the national health department’s single procurement process to ensure the vaccines are brought in for the entire country.

There is a difference between procurement and distribution.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

The province’s public and private partners met last Friday says Dr Cloete to strategise the vaccine distribution.

Once it arrives…we will be working with our private sector counterparts in this province to ensure that the vaccines due for everybody needing them in the Western Cape get distributed here and that we as a consolidated group will be overseeing a vaccination rollout plan.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

He says all the logistics and data will be streamlined to ensure the systems are in place to achieve the rollout.

Cloete says globally the position is for governments to procure vaccines rather than the private sector.

The general preference from international suppliers is for country allotments…and country allocations. In this way, it is more coordinated and aligned and has the critical mass of being able to negotiate prices.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

He says at a later stage other approaches may be introduced but for now this is the international process.

But at this point in time, the National Treasury is giving the National Health Department, specific delegated authority to negotiate with suppliers, to then procure it, and to make sure that all the necessary things are in place. – and the issue here is really just about centralised procuring.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

He notes that much of the PPE corruption occurred precisely because the procurement was not centralised but rather done at multiple points.

He outlines the different phases of the rollout.

The second phase will involve far bigger numbers like essential workers…and deciding which are essential workers.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

There are many logistics to be worked out for the categories, he adds.

Can someone choose not to receive the vaccine?

It is absolutely a choice.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

But, he asks that three issues are considered before making such a choice.

One is the science, the second thing is the ethics and the third thing is the ability to implement.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

He says every single person should be informed of the benefits and risks in order to make an informed choice for themselves – as well as for the broader community.

The more of us that are vaccinated the more we will achieve what is called herd immunity to protect us collectively. So this issue between personal choice versus collective responsibility is going to be one of the key ethical things that are going to unfold over the coming months.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

Every single person that chooses not to be vaccinated must realise that they put other people at risk. That is the issue between collective versus individual rights.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

We have come through the most traumatic period that health care workers and society, in general, has gone through in terms of the impact of the second wave, mortality, colleagues dying.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

Offering vaccinations is part of the healing process.

Dr Keith Cloete, HOD – Western Cape Health

Listen to the interview below:



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