SA is banking on its research expertise to gain a place at the international negotiating table for coronavirus vaccines. Unlike the US and UK, which have secured early access to millions of doses of experimental Covid-19 vaccines, SA lacks the financial muscle to pre-purchase stocks. Worse still, it has no capacity to make its own.

Scientists have moved at an unprecedented pace to develop a Covid-19 vaccine since the genetic sequence of the Sars-Cov-2 virus was published in January, as a safe and effective shot offers governments around the world the best hope of stemming the pandemic’s devastating health and economic costs. More than 170 potential vaccines are being tracked by the World Health Organisation, 29 of which are being tested on human volunteers...

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