South African COVID Vaccine Factory Still Has no Orders

The first African factory licensed to produce COVID vaccines may stop production within weeks because the facility has not received any orders. 

Last year, Aspen Pharmacare signed a deal with Johnson and Johnson to produce COVID vaccines at the South African facility, a move widely seen as a solution to the unequal access to shots in Africa.

“It was widely hailed as a great achievement for Africa, a game-changer for the continent. But it has not been followed up with orders. We have not received any orders from the big multilateral agencies,” Aspen Pharmacare Senior Executive for Strategic Trade Development Stavros Nicolaou said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Aspen Pharmacare shifted production and produced over 200 million doses of one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine annually. 

Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged international organizations and donor agencies to buy COVID vaccines from African manufacturers.


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