Update on status of vaccine availability

Theuns Botha, Minister of Health

Western Cape Government

In the Western Cape controlled stock of measles, hepatitis and polio vaccines are allocated to health care facilities so that children that have not been immunized with the antigens can be administered these vaccines.

On-going quality assurance for vaccines to be released to both the public and private sector is conducted by the National Control Laboratory. As vaccines pass quality control these will be release for patient use.

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, says: “Biovac notified the National Department of Health of the impending shortage in July this year. Provinces were made aware of the impending shortage, but no press release was issued by the National Department of Health and communication with regards to the impending vaccine shortages appears not to have reached the National Minister of Health.

“The deputy Health Minister, Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa, confirmed the national shortage in an SMS to me after I raised the matter with her at the visit to the Gugulethu CHC on Friday,” said Minister Botha.

Stabilization in the supply of the aforementioned vaccines will resume in October 2013.

Despite media reports, only 2 health facilities in the Western Cape experienced shortages. They are Gustrouw CDC in Strand and Mfuleni CDC.  According to Sinjani data, no other health care facility experienced vaccine shortages.