Turns out local is lekker, as the Covid-19 vaccine will be made within our borders. South Africa has been working in collaboration with a few pharmaceutical companies in an effort to make the vaccine available to the African continent.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the vaccine for Covid-19 will be manufactured and packaged by Aspen Pharmacare. The company will manufacture the vaccine at its plant in Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape.
“In recognition of the country’s manufacturing capability, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson, has entered into a preliminary agreement with a local company, Aspen Pharmacare, to manufacture and package its candidate vaccine,” the President said.
Recently, progress has been made with finding a potential vaccine for Covid-19. Pfizer and BioNTech said after conducting a successful trial of the vaccine, it is 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 infections.
More work is being done to make the vaccine as effective as possible, but currently, it is most effective when taken in 2 doses.
"This means that protection is achieved 28 days after the initiation of the vaccination, which consists of a 2-dose schedule. As the study continues, the final vaccine efficacy percentage may vary." said Pfizer in a statement.
The trial will continue until Pfizer and BioNTech discover how to make the vaccine effective in preventing reinfection as well as severe cases of Covid-19.
“We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis." said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO.
The President said Africa would need $12 billion to get 750 million doses of the vaccine. Steps have already been taken towards preparing for when the vaccine is officially approved and made available.
“We are working through the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to acquire and fund a vaccine for the African continent." said the President.