Government should consider Russia and Cuba Covid-19 vaccines: union

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) says that government should look at more Covid vaccine options.

The public sector union, which is the largest in the country, said that the government must consider the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine which published impressive phase 3 findings in the Lancet medical journal last week.

The Sputnik V viral vector vaccine achieved efficacy of 91.6% in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in a large phase 3 clinical trial, the union said.

“Government must also consider vaccines from the Finlay Vaccine Institute from the Republic of Cuba.

“Two Covid-19 vaccines have been produced so far in Cuba and the trials for one of them, called the Sovereign I, are aimed at determining the optimal level of antigen strength for protecting people previously infected with Covid-19.

“The antibody levels of some have turned out to be low and the vaccine might provide a boost as well.”

Nehawu said that Cuba is known of its cutting edge medical technology and expertise especially in preventative medical approach.

“Our government must not confine its search for vaccines to Western and European manufacturers only but to widen its search other countries for possible vaccines.”

Nehawu added that vaccines offers one avenue of limiting the spread of transmissions. However, long term solutions must be explored especially for our people who do not have sufficient space to practise social distancing and those who live in unhygienic environments, it said.

“More attention must be paid to the socio-economic realities of our people especially those from a working-class and poor background.

“A betterment of the living conditions of those who live in squalor might lead to the slowing down of transmissions.

“Government must ensure that everyone has safe drinking water and hygienic ablution facilities to stop the spread of infections and germs. ”

Read: South Africa’s Covid vaccine plans have changed

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Government should consider Russia and Cuba Covid-19 vaccines: union