May 12

WHO, Gavi Not Planning COVID Vaccine Buys From South Africa’s Aspen

The World Health Organization (WHO) and its COVID-19 vaccine partner Gavi have no immediate plans to buy shots made by Aspen Pharmacare (APNJ.J), the two bodies said, dealing a blow to Africa’s efforts to develop its own vaccine production capacity.

Aspen completed a deal in March to package, sell and distribute Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ.N) vaccine in what was lauded as a game-changing moment for an under-vaccinated continent frustrated by sluggish Western handouts.

But the South African company’s expectations of high demand in Africa, where just a sixth of adults are fully vaccinated, have not materialised. Its CEO warned last week it would be forced to re-purpose about half of its vaccine production capacity if orders did not pick up.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Schludi.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

Coronavirus, Health Care