Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech have signed an agreement to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa for distribution in Africa.
The partnership was made in collaboration with The Biovac Institute (Biovac) — a South African biopharmaceutical company based in Cape Town.
All the doses will exclusively be distributed within the 55 member states that make up the African Union.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the companies indicated that Biovac will perform manufacturing and distribution activities within Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s global COVID19 vaccine supply chain and manufacturing network, which will now span three continents and include more than 20 manufacturing facilities.
“From day one, our goal has been to provide fair and equitable access of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to everyone, everywhere,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.
“Our latest collaboration with Biovac is a shining example of the tireless work being done, in this instance to benefit Africa. We will continue to explore and pursue opportunities to bring new partners into our supply chain network, including in Latin America, to further accelerate access of COVID-19 vaccines.”
On his part, Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech said: “We aim to enable people on all continents to manufacture and distribute our vaccine while ensuring the quality of the manufacturing process and the doses. We believe that our mRNA technology can be used to develop vaccine candidates addressing other diseases as well. This is why we will continue to evaluate sustainable approaches that will support the development and production of mRNA vaccines on the African continent.”
Dr. Morena Makhoana, CEO of Biovac, termed the agreement as a critical step forward in strengthening sustainable access to a vaccine in the fight against the pandemic.
“This is a critical step forward in strengthening sustainable access to a vaccine in the fight against this tragic, worldwide pandemic. We believe this collaboration will create opportunity to more broadly distribute vaccine doses to people in harder-to-reach communities, especially those on the African continent,” said Dr. Makhoana.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Pfizer and BioNTech have shipped more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 100
countries or territories in every region of the world.
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