May 29, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Aspen may close Covid-19 vaccine line within weeks as talks drag

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. needs clear commitments from African governments within weeks for orders of its Covid-19 vaccine or will resume this production line for higher-demand anesthetics.

The continent’s largest drugmaker was disappointing at the lack of interest in the shots – a locally manufactured version of Johnson & Johnson’s dose, according to Head of Strategic Trading Stavros Nicolaou.

“We anticipated this and were reassured that the regional manufacturing platform was crucial and would be supported ‘ Nicolaou said over the phone. “We were betting on those initial amounts to give ourselves time to transition to other vaccines.”

Aspen only makes a “trickle” of coronavirus vaccines off the assembly line, he said, and has it Tuned had no orders for its own brand of meal to be sold directly in Africa.

The situation is a setback for Africa’s plans to catch up with the more developed countries’ Covid-19 vaccination rates and anticipate the possibility of future ones prepare for pandemics. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was part of a movement to criticize wealthy nations for vaccine hoarding and tried to force drug companies to share vaccine prescriptions, despite relatively low coverage.

Aspen understands that African Countries that have now done so are administering more shots than they could administer, it may not make economic sense to keep the line open for the newly named Aspenovax vaccine unless orders are imminent, Nicolaou said.

John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said talks are underway on how to boost demand for Covid-19 vaccines and appealed to African countries to place orders with local manufacturers.

“The reality is that if Aspen cannot sustain production, what hope is there for others?” said Nicolaou.

For more stories like this, visit bloomberg.com