Biovac: Partnership with Pfizer to supply COVID jabs a huge step for Africa

The biopharmaceutical company has clinched a deal with Pfizer to complete the production of its vaccine at its Cape Town plant.

FILE: At full capacity, Biovac is set to supply more than 100 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses annually. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Biovac said the partnership with Pfizer/BioNTech was a significant step towards the continent becoming more and more self-sufficient.

The biopharmaceutical company has clinched a deal with Pfizer to complete the production of its vaccine at its Cape Town plant.

It's also set to supply doses to countries in the African Union.

READ:

- Pfizer/BioNTech to produce COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa

- 55 AU member states to benefit from Pfizer vaccines produced in SA

At full capacity, Biovac is set to supply more than 100 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses annually.

Biovac Head of Science of Innovation, Patrick Tippoo said the deal showed there was confidence in the company and the country's capacity.

“This is just one of the initiatives to impact Africa as a whole at the same time.”

Director General of the Department of Science and Innovation Dr Phil Mjarwa said the collaboration was a significant one.

“There are different ways in which the knowledge can be shared with those that have developed the technology and use the technology for the benefit of mankind. So, I think we should celebrate that.”

Officials said the move was a vital step in securing sustainable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccine manufacturers, who are all international, have come under scrutiny during the coronavirus pandemic for not sharing the mRNA sequence to help other countries manufacture vaccines, which could help poorer states without vaccines access them much quicker.

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