Express Pharma

Africa CDC hopeful Aspen will get COVID vaccine orders

Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last month that it is in detailed discussions with buyers to generate demand for Aspen's COVID-19 vaccine Aspenovax

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Africa’s top public health body said yesterday it was hopeful South African pharma firm Aspen Pharmacare would get orders for its own brand COVID-19 vaccine.

Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last month that it is in detailed discussions with buyers to generate demand for Aspen’s COVID-19 vaccine Aspenovax.

“We are quite confident that we will be able to get some positive results out of the negotiations that are continuing,” Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director, Africa CDC, told reporters yesterday.

Aspen currently produces vaccines for Johnson & Johnson, but it struck a deal in March to produce, price and sell its own-brand version of the shot for African markets.

However, it has not received any orders for the vaccine to date and the company told Reuters earlier that its vaccine production lines, with a 450-million-dose annual production capacity, could soon be idled, or converted to produce anesthetics and other sterile products.

“We, as Africa CDC, the African Union, we do not want to see a situation where Aspen closes any of their manufacturing capacity to (produce) COVID-19 vaccines,” Ouma said, declining to give a timeline on possible orders for Aspen.

Ouma also said Africa CDC wants every manufacturing facility on the continent that is manufacturing any health product, particularly vaccines, to have buyers from and for the continent.

“Any closure (of manufacturing capacity) will not be good for the continent, will not be good for health security globally,” he said.

Edits by EP News Bureau

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