According to Wits University professor of vaccinology, Shabir Madhi, the announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine was 90% effective was exciting because “other vaccines using the same target may also show similar efficacy”. He said that by the end of the year, they will only be able to manufacture 40-m units. However, people will not be able to just pitch up at a pharmacy or clinic for a shot and setting up storage facilities would take a huge amount of time and expense. President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country was “collaborating with several multinational pharmaceutical companies” to get a safe and effective vaccine for Africa. In his recent address to the nation, he said the government was working through the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to procure funding, with around R189-bn and 750-m doses that would be needed.

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