Africa needs $200m jumpstart and to revamp its vaccine models says Biovac CEO

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg
Posted on Monday, 22 February 2021 18:35

A South African health worker receives the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at the Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town, South Africa, February 17 2021. Gianluigi Guercia/Pool via REUTERS

At least $200m injection is required for Africa’s quest to attain full vaccine production status, Biovac’s CEO Morena Makhoana tells The Africa Report, while cautioning funding is only one part of a complex equation.

Equally important, are demand-side considerations, which are complicated by the fact a large proportion of the vaccine supply that flows into the continent is funded through donor initiatives spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

South Africa’s Biovac Institute was established in 2003 as a public-private partnership to respond to the need for vaccine manufacturing capabilities. Its core business is the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) in South Africa and parts of Southern Africa.