South African medical insurers have pledged to pay for a Covid-19 vaccine for millions of people who do not have coverage in a programme that could cost as much as 7 billion rand ($464m).
The subsidy will mean that including medical aid members the companies will finance vaccines for 14 million adults in the country of 60 million people, Ryan Noach, the CEO of Discovery Health.
The insurer has already set aside the money, he said.
He said: “The ultimate effect is the one-to-one cross subsidy.”
Gore has been in discussions with South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize about the plans.
The country has yet to conclude any direct supply agreements with pharmaceutical companies but it expects to begin receiving shots in the second quarter to cover a 10th of its citizens through the Covax initiative.
With more than 1.1 million confirmed infections and over 30,000 deaths, South Africa is Africa’s worst-hit nation.