THE government is working on improving the country’s capability to produce coronavirus vaccines, Deputy President David Mabuza said on Tuesday.
Mabuza was visiting the Biovac Institute in Midrand, Gauteng, where the coronavirus vaccines are being kept.
Mabuza’s visit followed a decision by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 Vaccines, chaired by him to visit various sites established for the purposes of vaccines rollout.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine that we are administering now we store it here, from here we distribute it to the various centres. The cold chain can be broken for some days that won’t alter the quality of the vaccine but it cannot go beyond certain days,” said Mabuza.
“So this is the capability that we have as a country which Cabinet made a decision to improve this capability for us to manufacture our own vaccines.”
Mabuza also told the working media about the process of how the vaccines are stored and then distributed.
“We do currently manufacture vaccines, almost 80%, we manufacture in Cape Town and then we distribute. But we want to increase this capacity so that as a country we can have that capability. We are not going to need another storage facility, everything that will come will be stored here, from here right to the vaccination sites,” he said.
The Biovac Institute is a Public Private Partnership between the South African government and Biovac Consortium whose focus is on ensuring that the country has the required domestic capacity to respond to both local and regional vaccine needs.
This capability intent is in line with the work of the Capacity for Vaccine Development Work-stream of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
(SOURCE: INSIDE POLITICS)