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Covid-19 vaccines: SA Government/Pfizer contract #3

Sep 19, 2023



The government concluded a contract with Pfizer for vaccines of which the long-term effects and efficacy were unknown, and in addition hereto, explicitly excluded the serialisation thereof.

The following is an excerpt from the Pfizer Vaccine Contract:

How can a government enter into a contract for the purchase of a medical product it plans to roll out nationally, for billions of Rands, and that it aims to propagate for all of its citizens to be subjected to, the materials of which are “being rapidly developed”, the long-term effects, adverse effects and efficacy of which are unknown to both the purchaser and the manufacturer of the product? This is the epitome of gambling with both the taxpayers’ money and the lives of their citizens. This level of irresponsibility is shocking.

What is furthermore alarming about this specific provision of the contract, is the explicit exclusion of the serialisation of the product. Serialisation is the assignment of a unique serial number to each product unit that contains information about the product’s origin, batch number and validity date. Serialisation has been mandated in approximately 80% of countries across the globe.

In the pharmaceutical industry, counterfeit and substandard drugs threaten public health all over the world. Excluding the requirement of serialisation makes it difficult to trace and remove substandard and counterfeit drugs from the supply chain. In addition to these dangers, not serialising a medical product such as the Covid vaccines, limits the determination of accountability and liability of each party in the vaccine supply chain. Without a serial number, the cause for a faulty, counterfeit, expired or dangerous vaccine that caused harm to someone cannot be traced back to a specific role player, such as the manufacturing laboratory, point of receipt, administrating medical professional or transportation- or storage facility.

Since product serialisation makes each product uniquely identifiable, it also helps in assessing the product performance more accurately – something that was extremely necessary for a medical product of which the materials were rapidly developed, and the adverse effects unknown.

Why did our government agree to this contract provision?

For more information:
NEASA Media Department


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