Coronavirus – Botswana: No vaccine manufacturing company has withdrawn from an agreement with Botswana for supply of COVID-19 vaccines
The Ministry of Health and Wellness has noted with concern a story in the Sunday Standard/The Telegraph social media platform indicating that Moderna has withdrawn from its agreement to supply COVID-19 vaccine doses to Botswana. In the said article, the paper states that Moderna withdrew from the sale agreement after the Ministry of Health and Wellness had failed to pay the vaccine company.
The ministry wishes to state for a fact that it's agreement with Moderna for the supply of 500 000 doses, still stands. The two have a legally binding agreement that remains in force. The ministry further states that it has not reneged on making any payments to the company. Instead, the ministry has paid a total of USD 4, 332, 000 as part payment for the 500 000 doses procured. Payment of the balance is currently being processed. As stated by the Minister of Health and Wellness Hon. Dr Edwin G. Dikoloti in Parliament this morning, the ministry expects delivery of Moderna doses from August 2021.
The ministry therefore, advises the Sunday Standard/The Telegraph newspaper to desist from misinforming members of the public about a matter so sensitive and dear to their lives, as COVID-19 vaccines. Such misinformation can potentially lead to unnecessary panic, confusion, anxiety and hopelessness, especially at a time when many are looking up to the Government to do all it can to bring home COVID-19 vaccines. Media houses should therefore, follow all known news reporting principles of verifying facts before publishing and giving each party an opportunity to respond to matters that concern them. This did not happen in this case.
The ministry wishes to assure members of the public that it still expects the arrival of vaccines in August 2021, including Moderna, as was so elaborately declared by Minister Dr Dikoloti in Parliament this morning. In the event that there are any changes, the ministry will communicate as it always does with any developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Health and Wellness, Republic of Botswana.
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