Pfizer, a biopharmaceutical company at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine production, has announced that South Africa will begin the production of its vaccine. Pfizer made the announcement on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Associated Press (AP) reported that the Biovac Institute, a pharmaceutical company in Cape Town, South Africa will be manufacturing the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine which will be distributed across the African continent.
This would be the first time the vaccine would be produced in Africa, a move that Pfizer says is aimed at addressing vaccine scarcity in the continent.
Biovac is to receive “large batch ingredients” which will be used in manufacturing the vaccine from Europe; it will then blend the components which will be put in vials and packaged for distribution to all African countries, Pfizer explained.
Africa is currently facing a surge in COVID-19 deaths with over six million cases, making it the continent’s fastest COVID surge ever.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that “The rise in cases comes amid inadequate vaccine supplies.”
According to WHO, “around 190 million extra COVID-19 vaccine doses will be needed to fully vaccinate 10 per cent of Africa’s population by Sept. 2021, with around 750 million more doses needed to fully vaccinate 30 per cent by the end of 2021.”
Meanwhile, production of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will commence in 2021. It aims to reach more than 100 million finished doses annually.
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