- A well-known media publication has revealed that Johnson & Johnson has been exporting millions of vaccines produced in SA to Europe
- The publication reviewed export records from Aspen Pharmacare, the plant that is producing the J&J vaccine in SA
- This comes as a shock as the country is still waiting for a majority of the 31 million doses of the J&J vaccine it ordered
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Reports have revealed that Johnson & Johnson has been exporting millions of Covid-19 vaccines for distribution in Europe. The vaccines are packaged and bottled in South Africa by manufacturer Aspen Pharmacare.
The New York Times revealed that it has seen export records from Aspen and the SA government. J&J reportedly agreed to sell a substantial amount of its single-shot vaccine to assist with inoculating one-third of Africa's population.
The fact that the vaccine is being produced by Aspen Pharmacare created hope that the doses will go to people on the continent, according to SABC News. The report by the well-known publication went on to explain that SA is also paying more for Covid-19 vaccines than countries in the European Union are.
South Africa is still waiting for a portion of the 31 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine it ordered
The NY Times went on to state that Mzansi is currently waiting on a large number of the 31 million doses of the J&J vaccine that were ordered. At the moment, only around two million doses of the vaccine have been administered.
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The publication revealed that this is a major reason behind why less than 7% of the country's population is fully vaccinated and why the Delta variant is still ravaging South Africa.
A classified contract with abnormal stipulations
The world-renowned publication explained that the South African government signed an agreement with J&J this year with a stipulation. The NY Times reviewed the contract and revealed that SA had to waive its right to impose export restrictions on doses of the J&J vaccine.
A large number of vaccine doses leave Africa for Europe
The NY Times reviewed export records that revealed that J&J shipped 32 million doses of its vaccines recently but it does not fully capture the number of vaccines that have left South Africa specifically.
Germany and Spain reportedly received the jab produced by Aspen in April and June respectively.
Johnson & Johnson's response to the exporting of vaccines produced by Aspen Pharmacare
Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson Dr Paul Stoffels stated that the Aspen Pharmacare manufacturing plant is part of a network. The network reportedly routinely ships vaccine doses between countries for various reasons.
Stoffels added that the plant will solely produce doses for African countries towards the end of 2021.
KwaZulu-Natal officially enters 3rd wave of Covid-19 infections
Earlier, Briefly News reported that the Health Department in KwaZulu-Natal is worried about the increase in the number of daily Covid-19 infections within the province. Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday that the province has officially entered the third wave.
Zikalala blamed the significant surge in infections on the recent civil unrest. Zikalala was quoted speaking about how the rise in infections is due to the large gatherings, which came with the violent looting that recently beset the province.
According to reports by News24, in the last week, KZN experienced a 31% rise in infections. Hospitalisation due to the Covid-19 virus increased by 16%.