To boost vaccination rollout, $60M approved for transport, $203M for contracted staff

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As part of efforts to boost COVID-19 vaccination, a sum of $60 million has been approved to help the Ministry of Health transport vaccines to the various administrative regions while $203.3 million has been approved to pay contracted staff who work at the numerous vaccination sites.

Overall, more than $6.8 billion has been specifically allocated to boost the national COVID-19 response. This figure caters for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and new pills to treat patients.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, on Thursday during the consideration of the budget estimates, detailed other allocations that have been made to advance these vaccination efforts.

Of particular note was the $203 million allocation made to cater for 131 contracted employees. Notably, there were only 10 contracted employees in 2021; a sum of $48.4 million was spent then.

The 131 contracted employees include 44 clerical staff and 55 nurses.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony also said that getting vaccines to people is quite costly. Of the $60 million sum allocated and later approved for transportation, $20 million caters for air freights to send vaccines into the hinterland regions.

A sum of $42 million caters for transporting healthcare workers in buses to vaccination outreach campaigns and general vaccination efforts, in addition to moving cold-storage freezers to the various regions.

Aside from COVID-19 vaccination, Dr. Anthony reminded parliamentarians that the Health Ministry provides about 19 various children’s vaccines routinely. As such, $39 million has gone towards expanding maternal and child health immunisation.

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