Mon, 20 Sep 2021

CAPE TOWN, South Africa: A South African pharmaceutical company will manufacture the Pfizer- BioNTech Covid vaccine for distribution in Africa.

The South African biopharmaceutical manufacturer Biovac reached agreement to produce the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for distribution in Africa.

The continent of Africa has, to date, inoculated a little more than 3 percent of its population with at least one shot.

The Cape Town-based Biovac is to distribute the Covid vaccinations exclusively to the African Union's 55 member states once it is operational in 2022.

Officials have set a goal of manufacturing over 100 million doses annually.

As a first step, Pfizer-BioNTech will "begin immediately" transferring technical knowledge to Biovac, as well as participate in on-site development and the installation of equipment.

"From day one, our goal has been to provide fair and equitable access of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to everyone, everywhere," Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, said in a statement. "Our latest collaboration with Biovac is a shining example of the tireless work being done, in this instance to benefit Africa."

John Nkengasong, the director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, praised the deal between Pfizer-BioNTech and Biovac in a statement to CNN as "great and welcome news that must be celebrated in the context of this pandemic as every action counts," according to Reuters.

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