Reaffirming Africa’s self-sufficient ability to produce COVID-19 Vaccines

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South Africa has made significant progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through the commitment to producing the COVID-19 vaccines for the country and the continent.

In December 2021 the South African Government, through the African Renaissance Fund (ARF), signed an agreement with the African Vaccination Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to donate 2 030 400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to African countries to enable a   self-sufficient production of COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine rollout has proven to be an effective method to reduce cases of severe COVID-19 illness. At the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) commended South Africa for its prompt response to protecting and combating COVID for its citizens.

Two years later, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus in Cape Town on Friday 11 February 2022. The meeting was a meeting of minds to discuss Africa’s self-reliance in the production of COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Tedros commended South Africa’s capability and welcomed President Ramaphosa’s continued commitment, as the African Union (AU) COVID-19 Champion, to vaccine equity at the global level, and securing vaccines for the continent.

Some of the vaccination initiatives showcased included the Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology transfer hub. The mRNA Hub at Afrigen, genomic sequencing at the Biomedical Research Institute, and the fill and finish facility at Biovac.

Dr. Tedros believes South Africa is well on its way to becoming a leader in the vaccination business. “We’ve developed this hub which could be a strategic solution to the problems we’re facing,” he said.

For more information on the vaccine, rollout and facts visit SAcoronavirus

 Sources: www.thepresidency.gov.za and EWN