Vaccinologist speaks on vaccine development in Africa


Nearly 190,000 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in South Africa since the beginning of the year.

JOHANNESBURG - Vaccinologist Shabir Madhi says Africa has not invested enough in developing its own vaccines.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday that the country has secured 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

He outlined the country's vaccine strategy which he called the largest and most complex logistical undertaking in the country's history.

SUMMARY: Ramaphosa's address on adjusted level 3 regulations

Vaccination will be done in phases, with the first phase prioritising healthcare workers. The second and third phase will prioritise other essential workers such as teachers, police and other frontline personnel as well as the adult population.

Around 40 million people in South Africa will require the vaccine to reach herd immunity.

"Unfortunately that is a consequence of poor funding in the field of science," says Madhi.

"And it's not useful to start throwing a lot of money to researchers when a crisis is upon you, that is planning that needs to take place," he adds.

According to Madhi, the failure is not only on the side of government but on the side of academia and the private sector as well.

"Investment in the part of vaccines is nominal in the entire African continent," he says.

The professor said it is for this reason that Africa finds itself at the mercy of other countries and manufacturers.

Watch the full interview with vaccinologist Professor Shabir Madhi above


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