South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa Welcomes Biovac-Pfizer Collaboration

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed today’s announcement of a collaboration between South Africa’s Biovac Institute and the global pharmaceutical producer Pfizer as a breakthrough in the protection of African nations against COVID-19.

Speaking in his capacity as African Union Champion on COVID-19, President Ramaphosa said: “Today’s agreement will contribute significantly to health security and sustainability on our continent, which currently has the least access to vaccination in the world.”

Biovac and Pfizer announced today, Wednesday 21 July 2021, that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be produced in Cape Town by the Biovac Institute. Biovac is a vaccine producer and public-private partnership between the South African government and the pharmaceutical private sector.

In terms of today’s announcement, Biovac has been appointed to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for distribution within Africa, making it the first company on the continent to produce an mRNA-based vaccine.

Biovac will immediately embark on technological transfer activities that includes on-site development and equipment installation for the production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccines.

Biovac expects the facility will be brought into the Pfizer-BioNtech supply chain by the end of 2021.

Biovac will obtain drug substance from BioNTech’s facilities in Germany.

At full operational capacity, the annual COVID vaccine production will aim for 100 million finished doses annually.