Expanding local vaccine production in South Africa

Vaccines for Africa: roll-out and production in South Africa (SAVax)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2022 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Social Development



The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how dependent Africa is on vaccine imports. Currently, just one per cent of the vaccines needed in Africa are produced there. Local production is essential to reduce this dependence. 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.

Beyond this, South Africa’s Government requires continued support to enable it to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination campaign – in particular to reach disadvantaged people in rural areas and makeshift settlements.


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



The project conducts information and vaccination campaigns to help reach 70 per cent of the South African population and by doing so relieves the pressure on the health system.

By integrating the COVID-19 vaccination into primary health care management and generating health data, South Africa is not only able to improve its reaction to pandemics, but also build up expertise in pandemic preparedness, making it better equipped to tackle future health emergencies.

The project plans to run training courses with companies, universities and public research institutes in order to generate the expertise to develop and produce vaccines in South Africa. 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. This will not only create more jobs, but will also improve market access for vaccines that are produced in South Africa.

At the same time, the project promotes the state regulation required for producing vaccines. This will guarantee the approval of high-quality health products – for the good of the South African population and the whole region.

Last Update: June 2023

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