Home » Halted J&J vaccine shipment from South Africa to Europe will be returned: Zimbabwean tycoon Strive Masiyiwa

Halted J&J vaccine shipment from South Africa to Europe will be returned: Zimbabwean tycoon Strive Masiyiwa

by Ishioma Emi

London-based Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa has announced that a batch of COVID-19 vaccines recently shipped from South Africa to Europe will be returned. The announcement came on Sept. 2.

This follows a report that a shipment of Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine to Europe was made by Aspen Pharmaceuticals, a South Africa-based pharmaceutical company. 

Masiyiwa said the halting of the shipment was made possible due to the intervention of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The billionaire founder of Econet Group is a special envoy to the African Union for COVID-19 response. He coordinates Africa’s private-sector efforts to procure medical supplies to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

The agreement between Aspen and J&J involves the South African company importing the drug substance for the vaccine and packaging it in a “fill and finish” process in South Africa. However, J&J executes distribution.

According to the deal, J&J will supply South Africa with 31 million vaccine doses. Another contract shows that it will supply the African Union with 220 million doses, with a further 18- million option.

The agreement with South Africa was reached after J&J faced problems producing vaccines in the United States at a factory belonging to its partner, Emergent Biosolutions.

Although the European Commission was aware of the deal, it later described it as a temporary agreement after a series of backlash from the international community. 

The EU’s response came after Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “stunned” to hear that J&J vaccines were being exported from South Africa to the EU, because the EU has very high vaccination rates, while even the most vulnerable in many African countries have not been vaccinated.

South African activists called for full disclosure of their government’s contracts with J&J and other vaccine manufacturers, threatening legal action to acquire the information.

You may also like


The world’s premier source of news on Africa’s billionaires and UHNWIs.


Get the daily email to stay informed about African billionaires and UHNWIs. Get informed and entertained, for free.

Latest News

@2024 – Billionaires.Africa. All Rights Reserved.