Paying emerging African vaccine manufacturers a premium for their products is a small price to pay for protecting the continent against future pandemics, a senior executive at state-backed vaccine manufacturer Biovac said on Thursday.

The price of locally produced vaccines shot into the spotlight in May after the health department rejected Biovac’s pneumonia vaccine in favour of cheaper jabs imported from India by the local subsidiary of Indian generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Cipla. The development came as an unexpected blow to Biovac, which had partnered with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to make the shots in Cape Town, in the expectation that the vaccines would be procured by the health department...

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