Novavax Starts COVID-19 Vaccine Trial in South Africa

American vaccine development company Novavax says it has begun a Phase 2b clinical trial in South Africa to evaluate the efficacy of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Dr Shabir Madhi, professor of Vaccinology at Wits University, will lead the clinical trial which is supported in part by a $15 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the company said in a statement on Monday (17 August).

“Because South Africa is experiencing a winter surge of Covid-19 disease, this important Phase 2b clinical trial has the potential to provide an early indication of efficacy, along with additional safety and immunogenicity data for NVX-CoV2373,” said Gregory M. Glenn, president of Research and Development at Novavax.

“We appreciate the continued support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CEPI, and our strong ongoing collaboration with Wits University, all of whom are united with us in our commitment to produce and deliver a safe, effective vaccine across the globe.”

Novavax said that the trial will consist of two cohorts.  The first cohort will evaluate efficacy, safety and immunogenicity in approximately 2,665 healthy adults.

The second cohort will evaluate safety and immunogenicity in approximately 240 medically stable, HIV-positive adults. This allows for evaluation of the vaccine across a diverse, representative study population, it said.

Novavax expects that, if approved in South Africa, its Covid-19 vaccine will ultimately be supplied to in the country through a recently announced collaboration with the Serum Institute of India.

“The major motivation for the Covid-19 vaccines being evaluated at an early stage in South Africa is to generate evidence in the African context on how well these vaccines work in settings such as our own,” said Madhi.

“I am pleased to work with Novavax as the principal investigator in this clinical trial, following Novavax’ Covid-19 vaccine’s positive Phase 1 data, which provides strong rationale for moving development forward in a larger subset of adults.”

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Trade Benefits Between the US and South Africa May Be Changing

The Trump administration is changing a key exemption to America’s trade laws to make it easier to penalize about two dozen developing countries including China, India and South Africa. The announcement means that South Africa has effectively been removed from a list of nations that can receive preferential trade benefits and is now likely to attract higher import duties and levies to the US market.

It may also see the manufacturing sector losing billions of rand in revenue. Speaking to IOL, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) said the move was a tragedy for the industry and economy as all preferential treatment was crucial.

“The US has been one of South Africa’s top export destinations and trading partners for the past three decades,” said Naamsa executive manager Norman Lamprecht. “In 2019, a total of 12,437 vehicles were exported to the US along with automotive components to the value of R4.8 billion.”

More changes incoming?

South Africa is also facing another US-related change due to the draft Copyright Amendment and Performers’ Protection Bills. The proposed legislation is a point of significant controversy because it could damage South Africa’s trade relations with the US as it is seen to violate terms of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) under the US Trade Act.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative is now holding public hearings in Washington D.C. on South Africa’s eligibility for the GSP program. The country’s eligibility for the GSP program has been called into question as a result of the passing of the Copyright Amendment Bill in parliament last year.

If South Africa loses its GSP eligibility, the country will potentially lose up to R34 billion in export revenue, the Copyright Coalition of South Africa (CCSA) has warned. The office of the United States Trade Representative said in October 2019 that it would review South Africa’s eligibility to participate in its GSP based on a petition it had received. The GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference program.

It is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry into the United States for 3,500 products from the 119 designated beneficiary countries and territories. To remain eligible for these advantages, beneficiary countries must comply with 15 statutory eligibility criteria that are important to US interests, including taking steps to afford internationally recognized labor rights, providing adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights, and assuring equitable and reasonable access to its markets.

“Coupled with the threat of losing our Generalized System of Preference (GSP) over the Copyright Amendment Bill and the distinct possibility that the US Congress will not renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), South Africa is heading towards a perfect trade storm with the United States which will cost us billions of rands and thousands of jobs,” said the DA’s Dean Macpherson.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Inaugural United Airlines Direct Flight From New Jersey Lands in Cape Town

The inaugural United Airlines direct flight from New Jersey’s Newark Airport to Cape Town International Airport landed at 6pm on Monday amid much pomp and ceremony.
The ultra-long-haul flight sees the airline returning to Africa – United last flew to Africa via its Houston to Lagos route, which was discontinued a few years back – with plans to operate three weekly seasonal, non-stop flights between Newark and Cape Town until March 25 next year.

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “The United States is a key tourism and business market for the province, and we look forward to welcoming United’s customers to Cape Town and the Western Cape.

This new service will open up the US and North American markets to opportunities in the Western Cape, and significantly contribute towards growing our tourism sector and stimulating economic growth in the Western Cape.

United’s regional managing director of sales, Bob Schumacher, said: “Our new service […] will provide our business and leisure customers with a seamless and more convenient way to travel between South Africa and North America, and more immediate access to everything the Americas has to offer.”

Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris said: “The new route will enable new and expanded economic opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft features 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.

Meanwhile, Cape Town Air Access received the Overall Winner Award for the second consecutive year at the annual Routes Africa 2019 Awards in Mombasa, Kenya last week.

Cape Town won three awards at the ceremony, including Best Airport in Africa in the 4-20 million passenger category; Destination Marketing award for Cape Town Air Access; as well as the Overall Routes Africa award.

Cape Town Air Access is a partnership between the City, the Western Cape Government, Airports Company SA, Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro and South African Tourism, which aims to land more direct routes into Cape Town International Airport.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], BlogDeBanderas [2].

South African Airways is Changing Certain African Flight Routes and Reissuing Tickets

The below is a media statement released by South African Airways.

South African Airways is further strengthening its presence in Ghana by increasing weekly frequencies from 9 to 10 flights between Johannesburg and Accra, and by launching a daily service between Accra and Washington DC, with effect from 5th September 2019.

South African Airways regrets the inconvenience that this strategic decision may have on our customers and would ensure that those customers that already hold tickets for the affected flights are re-accommodated.

Ticketed SAA customers travelling between Johannesburg and Washington D.C. via Dakar (Blaise Diagne International) will be re-routed through one of the following options:

  1. Passengers travelling between Johannesburg (JNB) and Dakar (DSS):
    From Johannesburg (JNB) to Abidjan (ABJ) on flight SA 056 and from Abidjan (ABJ) to Dakar (DSS), on either Air Côte d’Ivoire (HF), Kenya Airways (KQ) or RwandAir (WB)
    From Dakar (DSS) to Abidjan (ABJ), on either Air Côte d’Ivoire (HF), Kenya Airways (KQ) or RwandAir (WB) and connecting onto flight SA 057 from Abidjan (ABJ) to Johannesburg (JNB)
  2. Passengers travelling between Johannesburg (JNB) and Washington D.C (IAD) via Dakar (DSS), SAA will re-accommodate passengers onto the Johannesburg (JNB) – Accra (ACC) – Washington D.C. (IAD) route and vice versa.
  3. Passengers travelling between Washington D.C. (IAD) and Dakar (DSS), can be re-accommodated via Brussels (BRU) to Dakar (DSS) on Brussels Airlines (SN) and vice versa.
    SAA will rebook affected passengers holding tickets as mentioned in points 1, 2 and 3 and the following rebooking conditions will apply:
  • Change of cabin class will not be permitted
  • Change fees will be waivered
  • Tickets must be re-issued on or before 23 August 2019. The issuing agent may re-issue the ticket with the following endorsement: INVOL SKCHG due to SA 207/208 CXD/Date
  • In the event where passengers do not wish to travel as re-accommodated by SAA, passenger may request a full refund of the unused ticket, without penalty.

Customers are encouraged to contact your Travel Agent, any SAA Office or our Contact Centres for assistance with flight changes.

The South African (Johannesburg) assistance line is 0861 606 606, and the US assistance line (Fort Lauderdale) is 1 (800) 722 9675.

To read the full media statement, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Adrian Pingstone [1], [2].

We Will be Attending Worldwide ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium 2019 in Boston This October

Our Director, Rene Stegmann, will be representing Relocation Africa at Worldwide ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium 2019 in Boston this October.

Taking place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, October 16 – 18, the Symposium provides an opportunity for those in the mobility industry to come together to network, and share global perspectives.

The Symposium has over 1,800 registrants from over 50 countries, and has talks scheduled for all 3 days.

To select a time to meet with Rene at the event, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], Osman Rana [2].