South Africa Looks out for its Neighbours; Shares Vaccine

Medical officer Dr. Emmanuel Addipa-Adapoe, 42, receives the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during the vaccination campaign at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

The South African government was pleased to announce it will donate just over 2 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to other African countries to boost the continent’s COVID-19 vaccine drive.

“This donation embodies South Africa’s solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the continent with whom we are united in fighting an unprecedented threat to public health and economic prosperity,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in the statement.

“The only way in which we can prevent COVID-19 transmission and protect economies and societies on our continent is to successfully immunize a critical mass of the African population with safe and effective vaccines,” said Ramaphosa.

The doses, worth approximately $18 million, will be produced at the Aspen Pharmacare manufacturing facility in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, and be distributed to various African countries over the next year, according to a statement.

Ramaphosa, 69, himself, who was tested positive for COVID-19 is “ making good progress in his recovery from COVID-19 while continuing treatment for mild symptoms,” his office said in a separate statement Friday. He has been isolated at the official residence in Cape Town since then, with treatment by the South African military health service.

– Ella Breedlove