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‘SA-produced mRNA vaccine more than just a COVID-19 defense’

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The health department says the manufacturing of vaccines in South Africa will not only help with immunisation against COVID-19 but also help with other diseases.
A vaccine manufacturing facility in the Western Cape, Afrigen Biologics, has expanded on the development of the new technology mRNA vaccine against COVID to be named Afrivac2121.
The Department of Health and the Department of Science and Innovation has led a European Commission delegation to the country’s vaccination plants in Cape Town.
Managing director of Afrigen Biologics, Professor Petro Terblanche, says clinical trials for the vaccine are planned for September this year.
“We have developed an mRNA vaccine in partnership with Wits University. The vaccine, Afrivac2121, is named after the date, June 21, 2021 when Dr Tedros and President Cyril Ramaphosa and partners announced the creation of this programme. Afrivac was developed in South Africa with Wits University. This facility now has products for animal and human studies later this year. This is a test case for us to demonstrate we can do mRNA vaccines.”

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