11 November 2020
Staff Reporter/ PretoriaLIVE
PRETORIA – Johnson & Johnson, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world has entered into a preliminary agreement with a local company, Aspen Pharmacare, to manufacture and package its candidate vaccine.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “This is life-saving medical product that will be needed across the world, which will be manufactured by South African workers.”
Aspen has capacity to manufacture 300 million doses of the candidate vaccine at its Nelson Mandela Bay plant.
Biovac, a local biopharmaceutical company that is in partnership with the South African government, is in advanced discussion with an international vaccine manufacturer that would also enable it to locally manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine to ensure sufficient supply for our country and the continent.
“Earlier this week, in my capacity as a Chairperson of the African Union, I established the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team to lead this effort.” said Ramaphosa.
Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize will serve on this task team together with other delegates from the continent.
It is estimated that Africa will need around $12 billion and 750 million doses of an effective vaccine.