Aspen pharmacare will be releasing more vaccines for teachers in South Africa over the next few weeks.
In a statement released on Monday, Aspen confirmed that Johnson & Johnson will be providing 300 000 doses of vaccines to teachers in South Africa.
“Over the next few weeks, Johnson & Johnson will be delivering substantial quantities of compliant, finished vaccines to South Africa to replace the lost stock, thereby ensuring the momentum in the South African vaccine initiative is maintained.”
“These Johnson & Johnson vaccines released by Aspen will support the vaccination programmes in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa.”
This comes as a relief, following the American Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to not release contaminated vaccines.
The Aspen vaccine production site in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape has been affected by this decision, as the vaccines will have to be destroyed.
"Specific batches of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine manufactured at our Gqeberha production site and designated for the South African market have to be destroyed due to the Good Manufacturing Practice risk of isolated material in the drug substance supplied to Aspen by Johnson & Johnson from their contract manufacturing partner in the USA, Emergent."
Aspen has expressed that it is disappointed that this has happened, as destroying the vaccines will delay the vaccine rollout.
The company has thanked its team for responding to the setback in time.
“Through their actions, they have not only assisted in capacitating the African continent but at this challenging time, they have stepped up again to ensure that we are able to maintain the momentum needed to give our continent access to lifesaving vaccines.” said Aspen.