100 Million Covid-19 Vaccine Doses to be Produced in Africa

Pfizer and BioNTech have reached an agreement with a South African company to produce their COVID-19 vaccine for distribution in Africa, Voice of America reports. The Biovac Institute in Cape Town will manufacture 100 million doses of the vaccine annually, starting in 2022. The company will mix vaccine ingredients it receives from Europe, place them in vials and package them for distribution to the 54 countries in Africa.

The agreement may eventually help alleviate vaccine shortages on a continent where the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says less than 2% of its population of 1.3 billion has received at least one dose. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company's goal is to provide people throughout Africa with the vaccine, a departure from previous bilateral agreements that saw most doses being sold to wealthy countries.

Calls for Africa to be an equal partner in the Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing process have been made previously, notably by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda who spoke at the Qatar Economic Forum in June 2021.

InFocus

Pfizer World Headquarters in New York City (file photo).

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