Aspen aims to eventually produce 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Africa

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South African pharmaceutical company Aspen says its aim is to eventually produce 1.3 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines for Africa.

It has reached a vaccine license agreement with US firm Johnson & Johnson which will lead to an expansion in the number of coronavirus vaccines that can be produced for the continent.

The agreement between the companies will allow Aspen to manufacture a vaccine in South Africa from a COVID-19 drug substance supplied by Johnson & Johnson.

Aspens CEO Stephen Saad says, “We really are grateful for the support we have received from J&J. It [has] really given us the confidence to boost our capacity from 300 to over 400 next year. By end of next year we [will] get to 700 million. It is still short of our aspiration target of 1.3 billion.”

Aspen hosts webinar on expansion of Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity:

Meanwhile, South Africa has recorded 4 373 new COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of infections to 2 968 052 on Tuesday.

The latest COVID-19 numbers in South Africa show a significant increase compared to the previous report, bringing the total number of new cases to 2 968 052.

Data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) latest coronavirus report shows that 21 people have succumbed to the virus in the last 24-hour reporting period, while the positivity rate is now at 10.2%.

See the latest COVID-19 stats below: