Activists have criticised Johnson & Johnson (J&J) after learning that some vaccines produced at the Aspen plant in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape were destined for European countries.
In response, the presidency said in the past fortnight, vaccines produced at the Aspen facility had been distributed to several African countries and that would ramp up in the months to come. “SA is on track to receive the full J&J order of 31-million doses by March 2022, and possibly earlier,” the presidency said in a statement.
The Health Justice Initiative (HJI) said it wants to file an application for access to the government's COVID-19 contract with J&J.
According to TimesLive, at a press conference on Tuesday (11 August), the HJI's Fatima Hassan said: “The New York Times has said at least 32 million doses of vaccines have left SA. We would like to know the exact amount and J&J should come clean about this, especially because it has a separate contract with Aspen.”
Hassan said J&J did a disservice to SA because it had so far not delivered the total number of vaccines it had promised to deliver to the country.
She accused the company of forcing "a waiver of sovereignty" to export vaccines filled and finished in SA. Apparently the contract with J&J prevents South Africa from imposing export bans on the vaccines. Hassan said they also wanted to see the contract with Pfizer.
See more from MedicalBrief archives: