October 14 2020 – 12:30
South Africa’s Biovac in talks to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines
A South African company part-owned by the government is in talks with the global Covid-19 vaccine distribution scheme and pharmaceutical companies to produce some of the vaccines the country needs to protect itself against the disease.
The Biovac Institute, a Cape Town-based joint venture between the government and private sector, could produce up to 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines per year, depending on the technology involved, Chief Executive Morena Makhoana told Reuters.
Depending on whether the vaccines require a one- or two-dose regimen, that could be enough for a quarter or half of South Africa’s population.
“We need to look at who is likely to get to the finishing line and who has the technological fit,” Makhoana said, when asked which vaccine candidate Biovac might partner with. “Discussions are happening and we are fairly confident that … we will be able to clinch a deal.”