Daily Podcast – October 07, 2021

7th October 2021 By: Halima Frost - Senior Writer

Daily Podcast – October 07, 2021

Photo by: Reuters

For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Halima Frost.

Making headlines: Government to gazette gender based violence Bill; Wits proposes Mandatory Vaccination Framework; And, Moderna plans to spend $500m on vaccine plant in Africa


Government to gazette gender based violence Bill

The Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities intends on introducing the 2021 National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill to Parliament in the current financial year.

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities explained that the Bill would set the legal framework for the establishment of the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide aimed at coordinating the country’s response to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.

The Bill seeks to establish a multi-sectoral, independent and non-partisan advisory body, comprising of representatives from both government and civil society organisations to ensure effective coordination and implementation of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, the department said.

This envisaged structure will be accountable to a board and will provide technical and administrative support to the council.



Wits proposes Mandatory Vaccination Framework

The University of the Witwatersrand is proposing a Mandatory Vaccination Framework, which will require all staff and students, study or employment applicants, and visitors and service providers, to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before accessing its campus.

Staff members, students, senior managers, organised labour, and other constituencies have until October 11 to comment on the proposed framework.

If the policy is enforced, staff and students must produce their digital vaccine certificate or vaccination cards, which will be linked to their Wits access cards. 

Students under the age of 18, as well as staff and students with confirmed medical risks will be exempted.

Unvaccinated students and staff will have to undergo daily health screenings and will be required to always wear an N95 mask in lectures, laboratories, during tutorials, and/or during assessments, and on buses.


And, Moderna plans to spend $500m on vaccine plant in Africa

Moderna said it would spend as much as $500-million to build a factory in Africa that could produce half a billion messenger RNA vaccine doses a year.

The company said that the new factory would produce the drug substance for messenger RNA vaccines, including its Covid-19 vaccine and shots for other diseases, and potentially also have vial-filling capabilities. Moderna will start working on site selection soon, it said.

Moderna has been under pressure to make its vaccine in Africa, the continent with the lowest immunization rate. The other main manufacturers of mRNA vaccines for Covid-19, Pfizer and partner BioNTech, announced a deal in July to start producing shots at a facility in Cape Town, South Africa.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the aim was to build a factory comparable to the company’s main US production facility in Norwood, Massachusetts. It will be owned and operated by Moderna but staffed mostly with local workers.


That’s a roundup of news making headlines today

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