Foul play ruled out in fire at vaccine factory
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Cape Town - Foul play has been ruled out as a factor leading to the fire at the Biovac manufacturing facility in Pinelands on Sunday.
The Department of Science and Innovation said manufacturing and distribution remained uninterrupted following the incident.
Established to revive human vaccine production in Southern Africa, the company has secured high profile technology transfers from international pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Sanofi Pasteur.
It sources and supplies a comprehensive range of vaccines required by the Department of Health, supplying over 15 million doses of vaccines (excluding Covid-19 vaccines) per year across South Africa and into neighbouring countries.
The Department of Science and Innovation said there would be no impact on normal operations or the manufacture and delivery of vaccines.
“No one was injured as a result of the fire, and none of the products was affected. The cause of the fire has not yet been established. An investigation will be conducted as standard procedure, but there is currently no evidence of foul play.”
Safety and security mayco member JP Smith said there was no evidence that this was an attempted attack on Covid vaccine stores as being speculated, since preliminary investigations suggest the fire's origin relates to a HVAC fault.
“Due to the prompt response of our fire services, only a separate building suffered damage while the laboratory itself was completely protected.
“The scene has been handed over to the SAPS for further investigation, as per standard procedures. It is imperative that we reject the notion of those spreading fake news and false claims through social media, as it spreads unnecessary fear,” said Smith.