Improving vaccine roll-out and production in South Africa

Project description

Title: Vaccines for Africa: Roll-out and production in South Africa (SAVax)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Africa
Lead executing agency: Department of Health (DoH) and Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
Overall term: 2022 to 2024

One person vaccinates another in the community hall.


So far, South Africa has been the country most affected by the COVID 19 pandemic on the African continent. The pandemic is impacting a weakened national health system that is overwhelmed by the current situation.

Although the government and its development partners have invested heavily in procuring vaccines and making them accessible to people in the country, there is still a lack of resources, staff and expertise to successfully implement the vaccination campaign.

By global standards, Africa is particularly disadvantaged in terms of access to vaccines. Only one percent of the vaccines needed are produced there. The development of independent vaccine production in Africa, which has been discussed for several years, has now therefore burst back onto the political agenda. The overall conditions in South Africa are favourable for this: there is an excellent infrastructure, a well-trained workforce and a high level of research expertise.


Access to high-quality vaccines for all population groups in South Africa has improved.

Laboratory worker looks at Covid-19 samples in the laboratory.


The project contributes to relieving the burden on the health system and improving the success of the vaccination campaign. To achieve this, it works with national and local health teams.

Together with other organisations, it strengthens the skills of key actors in vaccine development and production in South Africa, including companies in the value chain, leading universities and government research institutes. The aim is to boost the expertise, skills and networks of all those involved from the spheres of business, science, administration and politics – regionally, nationally and internationally.

At the same time, the project promotes the required state regulation of vaccine production through capacity-building measures.

Last updated: April 2022

Two lab workers stand in front of a sequencing machine in the lab.

Additional information