Aspen says Covid-19 vaccines for SA teachers ready 'within days'
Pharmaceutical company says it is 'extremely disappointed' that it has to destroy vaccines that were destined for the SA market
Pharmaceutical company Aspen said on Monday it will be able to provide “within days” 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine for SA's teachers.
It made the declaration in a statement, in which it said it was “extremely disappointed” it had to destroy certain batches of the J&J vaccines — which were manufactured at its Gqeberha production site and destined for the SA market — after a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration last week.
“This is not only a setback to both the Aspen and Johnson & Johnson teams who have worked tirelessly to ensure the manufacture of these batches, but more importantly, has the potential to negatively impact the vaccine rollout across SA and Africa,” the company statement read.
It said it had taken steps to deal with problems around vaccine access and to make up for the lost volumes of the vaccine.
“Within days, Johnson & Johnson will provide 300,000 doses of the vaccine for SA teachers.
“Within a week, Aspen expects to release Johnson & Johnson vaccines manufactured from drug substance that has not been impacted by the emergent contamination.
“Over the next few weeks, Johnson & Johnson will be delivering substantial quantities of compliant finished vaccines to SA to replace the lost stock thereby ensuring the momentum in the SA vaccine initiative is maintained.
“Aspen has further doses of the vaccine in production that will become available in July. These Johnson & Johnson vaccines released by Aspen will support the vaccination programmes in SA and elsewhere in Africa.”