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SA-born entrepreneur pledges $200m for African vaccines

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Patrick Soon-Shiong

South Africa-born pharmaceutical entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong has said that his family’s foundation will spend $211m (£151m) to help develop vaccine production in South Africa.

Dr Soon-Shiong, who is now based in the US, made his fortune in drug development in the US.

But he told a meeting of the World Health Organization on access to the means to fight the spread of Covid-19 that he wanted the donation to transfer the know-how around vaccine development and build self-sufficiency and innovation.

At the moment, the continent is not able to produce its own Covid vaccines and has only a received a small fraction of what is needed to cover the majority of the population.

Dr Soon-Shiong said he was concerned about the variants that have been prevalent in India and says second generation vaccines now need to be developed.

He added that he was motivated to act as a South African-born Asian American.

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