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South Africa: Committee Established to Focus On Covid-19 Vaccine

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Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has announced the creation of a Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) that will focus on Coronavirus vaccine development.

Mkhize made the announcement in a statement on Monday.

“In addition to the multi-sectoral MAC focusing on community mobilisation, another MAC has been created to focus on Coronavirus vaccine development,” Mkhize said.

The team will advise government on all matters about the Coronavirus vaccine development and rollout, and monitor and report on progress in candidate studies.

It will also give guidelines on purchasing options and will study the feasibility for the country to manufacture vaccines in future.

“This will ensure that the Department of Health and government are kept abreast on all critical developments internationally relating to the vaccine,” Mkhize said.

Professor Barry Schoub, who is an expert in vaccinology and virology, will chair the committee.

The other members include Biovac CEO Dr Morena Makhoana; Department of Science and Technology’s Glaudina Loots; South African Health Products Authority CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela and Vaccines for Africa’s Professor Greg Hussey.

Immunologist and South African Health Products Regulatory Authority board member Professor Jeff Mphahlele; World Health Organisation’s expert advisor Professor Helen Rees; Ethicist’s Professor Ames Dhai and National Treasury’s Dr Mark Blecher are also on the MAC.