South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged donors and countries to buy Covid-19 vaccines from African manufacturers.
Ramaphosa made the remarks while addressing an international meeting on Covid-19 on Thursday.
Last week, South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare which won a deal to package and sell the Johnson & Johnson vaccine said the plant risked closing down after failing to get a single order.
Africa needs the skills and capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Monday, as the continent lags other global regions in inoculating against Covid-19.
“We will also need capacity-building in the form of skills and knowledge transfer to ensure we can sustain local manufacturing,” Ramaphosa added.
Moreover, Johnson&Johnson vaccines also have a reputation problem. Last April, South Africa stopped administering the drug after it was blamed for causing blood clots in adults.
While most western countries have inoculated hundreds of thousands of their people, Africa continues to lag behind having administered just 2% of the world’s total COVID-19 vaccine doses, meaning the continent has vaccinated just 1% of the its population.