MBABANE: Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health said eSwatini was struggling to buy the E200million COVID-19 vaccines due to challenges in the procurement process.
Speaking during a press conference held in Mbabane on Wednesday, the Minister said the E200million was available but could not be utilised due to the challenges, however, she confirmed that eSwatini will receive 500 000 doses as a donation in May 2021.
“Eswatini expects to receive 500 000 doses of the Oxford University AstraZeneca Vaccine as a donation from Oxford University AstraZeneca. This consignment is expected to come from Europe and not India and is expected in the country by May 2021. We have not received any communication from COVAX to inform of a delay for the planned May 2021 delivery of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.”she said.
The Minister said it was deliberately misleading to assume that Government was relying on donations as E200million was set aside,however, she failed to disclose why it was easy to secure donations.
“It is deliberately misleading to assume that Government is reliant on donations. As of December 2020, Government had set aside E200 million for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and this has not been utilised due to challenges faced with access to COVID-19 vaccines; challenges not only faced by the Kingdom. We have more than enough money for our needs, but the challenge remains access to vaccines.”said the Minister.
Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi