South Africa was “bullied” into signing one-sided contracts with Covid-19 vaccine suppliers that forced the government to pay more than the European Union but offered little protection against delivery failures, according to an advocacy group.
For instance, Johnson & Johnson charged South Africa $10 a dose, 15% more than the company charged the European Union, while the government was required to pay a non-refundable down payment of $27.5 million. Pfizer also charged $10 a dose, which was 33% more than the $6.75 charged the African Union. South Africa was required to pay $40 million in advance, only half of which was refundable.
Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India planned to charge South Africa $5.35 a dose for Covishield, its generic version of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which was 2.5 times more than it charged the European Union. However, South Africa subsequently suspended its order over safety concerns.