Africa: President Welcomes Biovac-Pfizer Deal

Mo Africa News:

The African Union Champion on COVID-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa, has welcomed the announcement that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be produced in Cape Town by the Biovac Institute.

In a statement on Wednesday, the President welcomed the announcement of a collaboration between South Africa’s Biovac Institute and the global pharmaceutical producer Pfizer as a ‘breakthrough in the protection of African nations against COVID-19″.

“Today’s agreement will contribute significantly to health security and sustainability on our continent, which currently has the least access to vaccination in the world,” President Ramaphosa said.

Biovac is a vaccine producer and public-private partnership between the South African government and the private pharmaceutical sector.

“In terms of today’s announcement, Biovac has been appointed to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for distribution within Africa, making it the first company on the continent to produce a mRNA-based vaccine.

“Biovac will immediately embark on technological transfer activities that include on-site development and equipment installation for the production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccines,” the Presidency said.

Biovac expects the facility will be brought into the Pfizer-BioNtech supply chain by the end of 2021. Biovac will obtain drug substance from BioNTech’s facilities in Germany.

“At full operational capacity, the annual COVID vaccine production will aim for 100 million finished doses annually. All doses will exclusively be distributed within the 55 African Union member states.