South Africa should consider the possibility of domestic Covid-19 vaccine production using local isolates and well-established vaccine technologies, eg, production of inactivated and live-attenuated vaccines.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is due to the rapid spread of a new zoonotic (animal origin) coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Over the last several decades, there has been on average almost one new emerging disease (EID) each year, of which approximately 75% have been zoonotic. The most recent epidemics of Ebola virus disease, Zika virus disease, and now Covid-19 demonstrate the global significance of EIDs and the lack of adequate capacities in their prevention, detection, diagnosis, surveillance, response and research.
Microbes, and particularly RNA viruses continue to rapidly evolve and adapt, and with the acceleration and expansion of global trade, human movement and travel and the escalating populations of both people and animals, they have an even greater opportunity to adapt, change, and be transported to new hosts and ecosystems, often with disastrous results.
It became evident that once more the world is not adequately prepared to effectively and timeously respond to a newly emerged zoonotic contagion. The health, humanitarian and socioeconomic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are huge and...