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Christian Putsch

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Africa produces off-patent Corona vaccine

Inside The Launch Of Africa's First COVID Vaccine Plant

As the West hoards vaccines, less than 10% of Africans are vaccinated. But now, the continent's first vaccine factory has opened in South Africa. And behind it is Patrick Soon-Shionga pharmaceutical billionaire with a mission to change the African continent.

CAPE TOWN — Patrick Soon-Shiong can certainly be described as a go-getter. The 69-year-old pharmaceutical entrepreneur became rich in the U.S. by selling cancer drugs, has bought the Los Angeles Times newspaper, and has acquired substantial shares in the legendary L.A. Lakers basketball team. As befits someone who consistently pursues his hobby, he had an underground basketball court built in his Los Angeles estate. Bloomberg estimates his fortune at $11 billion.

This is a remarkable career for the South African-born son of Chinese immigrants, who grew up in modest circumstances during apartheid – “on the wrong side of the tracks,” as Soon-Shiong once said in an interview. But recently in his country of birth, on Wednesday, Jan. 19, he experienced what he described as one of his “most monumental moments”.

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