Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NSDQ:BNTX) today announced an agreement with Biovac to manufacture the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine for distribution in Africa.
Cape Town, South Africa-based Biovac will perform manufacturing and distribution activities within Pfizer and BioNTech’s global COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and manufacturing network to aid in distribution within the African Union, according to a news release. The technical transfer, on-site development and equipment installation activities for Biovac will begin immediately.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s global vaccine supply chain and manufacturing network now spans three continents, the companies said, with more than 20 million manufacturing facilities.
They expect Biovac’s Cape Town facility to be incorporated into the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain by the end of 2021, with Biovac slated to obtain drug substance from European facilities. The manufacturing of finished doses will commence in 2022, with the facilities full operational capacity bringing production that will exceed 100 million finished doses annually.
All doses produced at the Biovac facility in Cape Town will be exclusively distributed within the 55 member states that comprise the African Union.
“From day one, our goal has been to provide fair and equitable access of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to everyone, everywhere,” Pfizer chairman & CEO Albert Bourla said in the release. “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.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Pfizer and BioNTech to produce and distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine within Africa. This is testament of the long-standing relationship we have had with Pfizer through the Prevenar 13 vaccine,” added Biovac CEO Dr. Morena Makhoana. “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.”