Wednesday, 17 April, 2024
HomeSouth AfricaMost of R11.4bn vaccine contract goes to state-backed developer

Most of R11.4bn vaccine contract goes to state-backed developer

State-backed vaccine developer Biovac has secured the lion’s share of the government’s new R11.4bn contract to supply childhood vaccines, ending months of uncertainty about the company’s future. Business Day reports that Biovac is a public-private partnership that was established in 2003 to revive South Africa’s human vaccine manufacturing capabilities, with the state owning 47.5% of its shares and the majority stake held by a private consortium led by Immunotek.

Biovac has up until now enjoyed an exclusive supply agreement with the state, but earlier this year the government switched to an open tender run by the health department and invited rival bids. The report says in August, Biovac said the tender specifications potentially excluded it from bidding at all, threatening its income stream and putting more than 300 jobs on the line.

The report says it has emerged that Biovac has in fact won 85%, or R9.78bn, of the new 3½-year contract. It has won the supply contracts for shots that reduce the chances of getting tuberculosis, measles, and hepatitis B, and two newer generation multi-valent shots — Sanofi’s Prevenar shot for pneumonia and Pfizer’s Hexaxim, which offer protection against six childhood diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

[link url=""]Business Day report[/link]

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