Gareth Friedlander on Discovery Life’s approach to the vaccine rollout

Gareth Friedlander is deputy chief executive officer at Discovery Life, where he has been an instrumental part of the company’s innovative research and development for over a decade.

At the beginning of his tenure, in 2008, he joined Discovery Life’s product development team. He later founded and headed up the technical marketing team before filling the role of head of research and development in 2012.

He has a BSc Honours from the University of the Witwatersrand. A qualified actuary, Friedlander was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 2010.

In this episode of Business Talk, Friedlander discusses the latest Covid-19 wave in South Africa and Discovery Life’s approach to dealing with the pandemic and the vaccine rollout.

Friedlander talks about the significant impact of the third Covid wave on South Africa, highlighting the strength of the delta variant and loss of life. He sheds light on what the data from Discovery tells us about the delta variant, which has come as somewhat of a surprise to the insurer.

He talks about the progress seen in the country’s vaccination programme. He says that Discovery’s data shows that the probability of infection is reduced by 47% at least three weeks after ‘the first jab’.

This means that your protection is twofold. “There is a lower probability of being infected yourself, and by extension infecting someone else, and then once infected, a 96% reduction in your probability of being hospitalised, and therefore of death.”

The full interview is embedded below. You can find all the Business Talk with Michael Avery interviews here.

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Gareth Friedlander on Discovery Life’s approach to the vaccine rollout