Pfizer agrees to SA production of jabs
State-backed vaccine distributor Biovac Institute has reached an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to help manufacture 100-m doses of its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine a year for African countries. It will be the first company in Africa to be involved in the production of an mRNA-based vaccine and joins a global network of more than 20 contractors involved in production of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, reported Business Day (22 July 2021) Biovac’s agreement with Pfizer/BioNTech is similar to that clinched last year by Aspen Pharmacare with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to help produce its Covid-19 jab, as neither company has been licensed to make the active pharmaceutical ingredients used in the shots. Biovac will receive the active pharmaceutical ingredients from Pfizer/BioNTech facilities in Europe, which it will use on site to formulate vaccines, put them into vials, and package them for distribution.
Biovac has a long-standing relationship with Pfizer and already helps manufacture its childhood vaccine Prevnar 13, which targets respiratory diseases.