South Africa’s Aspen reports zero orders for new covid jab

South Africa’s Aspen reports zero orders for new covid jab

South African pharma giant Aspen said Tuesday it has not received any orders for its new anti-Covid vaccine despite relatively low vaccination rates and a looming new wave.

“Made in Africa for Africa” Aspen-branded Covid vaccine Aspenovax.

The Durban-headquartered company clinched a deal last November with US-based Johnson & Johnson to manufacture a

The agreement was finalised in March and trials have run since January.

But Aspen is yet to secure any orders despite Africa being the least vaccinated continent with just under 16% of the population immunised.

“If we do not get any Covid vaccine orders then clearly there will be no rationale for retaining the lines to make this production,”

senior executive for strategic trade development Stavros Nicolau said in an email response to AFP.

The company “had counted and were assured that the regional manufacturing platform was critical and would be supported”.

“We had banked on these initial volumes to give us the time to enable us to pivot to other vaccines”.

Africa is battling to immunise its people against the virus, partly because of widespread vaccine hesitancy.

© Agence France-Presse

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