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Johnson & Johnson have announced a landmark agreement to enable the manufacturing and availability of its COVID-19 vaccine in Africa by an African company.
Johnson & Johnson announced on March 8, 2022 that a landmark agreement between Janssen Pharmaceuticals and manufacturer Aspen SA Operations, based in South Africa, will enable the first COVID-19 vaccine to be manufactured by an African company for people living in Africa. The company’s goal is to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates across the continent.
Under the terms of agreement, Aspen will manufacture and provide the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine under its own brand name, making the vaccine available to the public sector in Africa, including all 55 Member States of the African Union. The agreement moves forward the goal to ensure equitable, global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
According to a press release, approximately 12% of people in Africa are fully vaccinated, which does not meet the World Health Organization’s target of 70% for all countries. Expanding global vaccination is crucial to reducing the risk of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant emerging.
“With the conclusion of this agreement, our vision for Africa’s own vaccine has become a reality,” said Stephen Saad, Aspen Group chief executive, in a press release. “This has been achieved through tremendous teamwork and collaboration between Johnson & Johnson and Aspen. Through this agreement and their earlier actions, Johnson & Johnson has demonstrated its commitment to our continent. Initially by choosing Aspen, located in Africa, as a core manufacturing partner, and then by showing resolve and dedication to a technical transfer process during the most stringent lockdown periods of the COVID outbreak.”
Source: Johnson & Johnson