Tebogo Msimanga |
The Acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi, on Tuesday, welcomed Aspen Pharmaceuticals’ announcement on the release of the first batch of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines from its flagship manufacturing site in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.
Mmamoloko Kubayi added that this development is a significant step for the country as they ramp up the rollout of the vaccination programme to match an increasing appetite for vaccines, especially amongst the youth adults (18-35 years) and middle-aged adults (36-55 years) who constitute a higher percentage of South Africa’s population.
Aspen’s Gqeberha site is the only manufacturing site on the African continent and in the southern hemisphere selected by a global multinational pharmaceutical company to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.
The Acting minister further said these vaccines will be distributed throughout South Africa in line with the various distribution arrangements between the Department of Health, Johnson & Johnson and other stakeholders. “We thus call upon all eligible people, young and old to register to vaccinate in order to protect themselves, their loved ones and break the transmission of the pandemic in the communities.”