04 June 2021 - NW1248
Majozi, Ms Z to ask the Minister of Health
Whether his department has a strategy in place to ensure self-reliance of the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine in future; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for increased vaccine security and therefore, self-reliance. However, the development of local vaccine manufacturing is a complex process that has high risk associated with it. To ensure the quality and consistency of vaccine manufacturing, hundreds of process steps need to be followed and there are thousands of check points for testing. The transfer of intellectual property rights as well knowledge transfer on vaccine manufacturing should be coupled with massive investment in manufacturing capacity. Currently there is an unprecedented level of support across African governments, African and Global Public Health (GPH) institutions, and the private sector, which is driven by the need for increased vaccine security and self-reliance highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the African Union we have embarked upon a project to understand the strengths to leverage and challenges that could be faced develop a framework on vaccine manufacturing on the continent including opportunities for collaboration with a range of public and private sector stakeholders. This work is ongoing and is aimed at future pandemic preparedness.