By: Natasha Archary
Biovac, a Cape Town based pharmaceutical company believes the country has the expertise to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 locally.
Speaking to Kaya Breakfast this morning, Biovac CEO Morena Makhoana confirmed that the company is currently negotiating with international pharmaceutical companies to achieve this.
The news offers a bit of relief following government’s decision to halt the rollout of AstraZeneca.
A locally produced vaccine may take a few months, depending on the complexity of the technology and clinical precision.
Should an agreement be reached to have Biovac involved in developing a local vaccine, it would mean saving the country billions of rands it can ill afford.
At an estimated R231 per vaccine, including distribution and administrative costs, this would put the cost of the vaccine at billions for mass distribution. This does not include the cost of the vaccine itself.
According to South Africa’s Council for Medical Schemes (CMS), all medical aid schemes will have to cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine for its members. This after the council added the COVID-19 vaccine to its list of Prescribed Minimum Benefits.