Aspen has announced the release of much-needed locally manufactured Covid-19 vaccines to Johnson & Johnson to be used in South Africa.
“The first supplies to South Africa of the J&J Covid-19 vaccines, from the new API source located in Europe, will be released to J&J from its flagship Gqeberha-based manufacturing site later today,” the global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company. (Gqeberha is the new name for Port Elizabeth.)
In a statement released on Monday, Aspen said the single-dose shots will further be distributed throughout the country, in line with the various arrangements between J&J, the department of health, and other stakeholders.
In addition, vaccines from these batches will be made available through the African Union’s Covid-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team.
“This represents a significant landmark for South Africa and the African continent, as these are the first Covid-19 vaccines to be produced on the African continent by an African producer for South African and African patients.”
These supplies will also be made available to the European Union and other offshore markets.
During a televised address on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country is scheduled to receive around 31 million additional doses from Pfizer and J&J in the next two to three months.
Aspen has invested more than R3-billion into its sterile manufacturing site, the largest investment in the pharmaceutical industry in South Africa.