South Africa Considering Tax Hike To Fund COVID-19 Vaccines

South Africa National Treasury is contemplating an increase in taxes to fund the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines.

According to Business Day, the tax hike is being considered to see that the vaccines are purchased for the populace.

South Africa has finalised plans to get 9 million doses of vaccines from Johnson and Johnson, 1.5million from AstraZeneca, and a combined 24.5m doses from the the COVAX facility and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team.

The South African government identifies the vaccine as being important to the public and is independent of the private sector in ensuring citizens get their shots.

Increasing the budget deficit has also been mentioned as a viable plan for the acquisition of the vaccine amid growing calls to the government to set new spending priorities.

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The sum of $1.3bn has been set by the Department of Health for the vaccination of South Africans with possibilities of the figure even getting lower.

South Africa has Africa’s highest burden of COVID-19 with more than 1 million cases, a third of the total continental load.

More than 29,000 deaths have also been recorded since the disease broke out, and the South African economy has also suffered a dip.

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