MPs raise concerns over lack of info on pending Sinopharm vaccine agreement

MPs raise concerns over lack of info on pending Sinopharm vaccine agreement

MPs on Wednesday expressed concern over a pending agreement between South Africa and Chinese state pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine/ iStock

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told Parliament’s health committee South Africa has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Chinese.


"China offered to make about two million doses of the vaccine available to South Africa. In one of the meetings, there were issues around the pricing and  some results were outstanding. 


“There has been a non-disclosure agreement that allows us to get more detailed information from Sinopharm that we will be processing," said Mkhize.


ALSO READ: Zweli Mkhize prepared to take COVID-19 jab to dispel any fears


He added that his team believes the vaccine is stronger than others despite not being able to give further details on its efficacy.


Some members of the committee objected to the fact that Mkhize could not provide more information due to the non-disclosure agreement.


"We cannot settle of non-disclosure; it is unconstitutional for the minister not to share information that he has. The minister is bound by the constitution to share this information if it is available to the state," said Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Naledi Chirwa.


Mkhize said while there is some information they able to share, not all the details are available to them.


He also confirmed that the inter-ministerial committee on the vaccine rollout led by Deputy President David Mabuza is in talks with Cuba which has offered to sell South Africa its vaccine. 

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