Shantivax: Africa's 1st Covid19 Vaccine Is Being Developed in Mzansi

Shantivax: Africa's 1st Covid19 Vaccine Is Being Developed in Mzansi

- Africa's first Covid-19 vaccine is being developed in the Eastern Cape, according to reports

- An immunotherapy firm called GenLab is collaborating with a Danish company to produce Shantivax

- Shantivax's prototype is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials with human trials expected in the next ten months

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A South African based immunotherapy firm has developed Africa's first Covid-19 vaccine - Shantivax. The vaccines were designed and developed by scientists from GenLab based in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.

The vaccine prototype was developed in collaboration with a Danish company. Human trials for the Shantivax are expected to begin in the next 10 months, according to the CEO of GenLab Kamsellin Chetty. The vaccine is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials.

Reports say the South African vaccine will elicit both a T-cell and antibody response.

Shantivax: Africa's first vaccine, self funded made in SA
The first Covid-19 vaccine in Africa - Shantivax - is being developed in SA by a Gqeberha-based company called GenLab. Image: Phill Magakoe / AFP
Source: Getty Images

In an interview with the SABC, Chetty said they are a completely self-funded entity, adding that they would not take money from other entities to avoid timelines based restrictions placed on them.

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Speaking to IOL, Chetty revealed that the Shantivax vaccine will be able to live inside the lung for a number of years as it continues to provide stimuli for the immune system. This will allow the body to identify and neutralise Covid-19.

In similar news, recently reported that a South African company is set to start producing a 'Cryo-Vacc' in the coming days.

Renergen, a South African renewables company, will be producing the Covid-19 vaccine storage unit soon. The storage containers will contain helium to power an ultra-cold freezer. Reports say the company is currently conducting discussions on the sale of the products.

The freezer can reportedly store up to 6 000 doses of the vaccine for up to 30 days. The freezer will transport products in helium (by plane) and liquid nitrogen, which has a temperature of -196°C (by road).

The prototype for the 'Cryo-Vacc' was launched on Monday, 15 February. eNCA reported that key concerns regarding the vaccines which are on the way to the country involve the maintenance of temperature during transit. A report by News24 stated that Renergen CEO Stefano Marani said they have already received orders for the Cryo-Vacc and production will start soon.

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