by Daniel Itai, Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa is set to become the first African country to produce and distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
To date, Africa is relying on countries such as India, China, USA and England for all its COVID-19 vaccines which has since made a lot of African countries to be at the backfoot when it comes to vaccinations with most African countries not having yet vaccinated one percent of their population.
However, Dr. Morena Makhoana, CEO of Biovac Institute where the COVID-19 vaccines will be manufactured and distributed from has since said that’s about to change, “there is a limited capability on the African continent that’s why we have decided to make presidency.
Moreover, we are working on manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines from scratch. What is important is to get the raw materials that make the vaccines and that’s what we are now working on. We are working with an American pharmaceutical company in making the COVID-19 vaccine. The entire process will be done here in a quest for self-sustainability because we have to prepare ourselves for future variants.
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently on phase one of the clinical trials in both here and the US. We are looking at an injectable form and tablet form because many people are afraid of injections which makes it easy with the issue of compliance and the second thing is the issue of storage because most of these COVID-19 vaccines need a storage of about -20 Degrees Celsius.
However, it takes a lot of time but from next year we should be able to have a clear picture on when we can start rolling out the vaccines.”
The southern African country is the hardest hit on the continent with 1 533 961 reported COVID-19 cases and 51 724 succumbing to the deadly virus.