Covid-19 vaccines will cost between R280 and R308 per dose in South Africa, as the country prepares to roll out the next phase in its vaccination programme on Monday.
In a circular from the Department of Health, public healthcare providers were informed that they would be able to access vaccines from the 51-million doses secured by the South African government, if they set up an account with distributors Biovac and DSV.
The authenticity of the circular was confirmed by health department spokesperson Popo Maja.
South Africa will start vaccinating the elderly, people with co-morbidities and essential workers with high-risk jobs for Covid-19 on Monday.
Government plans to vaccinate 16.6-million people over a six-month period under phase two. This would run in parallel with the vaccination of about 300 000 remaining healthcare workers who had not been vaccinated under phase one. Phase one, which was exclusively aimed at reaching 500 000 healthcare workers, concluded on Friday.
The Dis-Chem group has already committed to roll out 11 mass vaccination sites by the 24 May in five provinces.
The circular specified that the price of the Pfizer vaccine would be R308.48 per dose. There are six doses in a vial, so healthcare providers would need to pay R1 850.88 per vial.
The Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose vaccine to be administered 21 days apart and can be stored at between -80°C and -60°C for the entire expiry date or at -15°C to -25°C for 14 days or 2°C to 8°C for 5 days.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine would cost R286.96 per dose. There are five doses of the vaccine in a vial; bringing the cost per vial to R1 434.80. The J&J vaccine is a single dose vaccine.
On top of securing the vaccine, an administration fee will be charged for the management of the electronic registration system and removal of medical waste, the circular said.
"The cost of administering the vaccine for a health facility registered to vaccinate shall be R70 per vaccination and cover for vaccine waste, including the confirmation of details on the EVDS, preparation of the vaccine, vaccination, counselling, and 15 minutes waiting period in the facility following vaccination. There shall be no additional fee levied for the vaccination," the circular said.
Should the vaccinees have medical aid, the cost of administration would be paid in full by their medical scheme since it is a prescribed minimum benefit.
"In the case of uninsured vaccinees referred to a private health establishment via the EVDS, the billing will be to the National Department of Health. The billing in the case of the national department will relate to the cost of the vaccine dose and the cost of vaccine administration. The national Department of Health will (after verification on EVDS) issue a credit authorisation with the distributor for the cost of the vaccine dose and the cost of the vaccine administration," the circular said.
Medical aids would be required to pay VAT, meaning they would pay R354.75 per Pfizer dose and R330 for Johnson & Johnson vaccines.