J&J vaccines made in Africa will stay in Africa
Strive Masiyiwa told reporters Thursday that South African drug manufacturer Aspen, which has a contract with Johnson & Johnson to assemble the ingredients of its COVID-19 vaccine, will no longer ship vaccine doses out of the continent and that millions of doses warehoused in Europe will be returned to the continent.
He said the issue had been "corrected in a positive way", with Aspen's arrangement with Johnson & Johnson changing from a contract deal to "a licensed arrangement" similar to the production in India of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Masiyiwa said the Aspen product will be "African branded''.
Johnson & Johnson was criticised heavily for shipping doses to countries in Europe, which have already immunised large numbers of their people and have even donated vaccines to more needy countries.
Africa has fully vaccinated under 3% of its 1.3 billion people. Vaccine production within the continent is seen as key to meeting the stated target of vaccinating 60% of the people.
The continent has reported more than 7.8 million cases, including 197,150 deaths.
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