To support South Africa and the African continent increase vaccine manufacturing capacity and reduce reliance on imports, a consortium of nine development and finance institutions have today announced a partnership with Biovac in Cape Town, South Africa to support Biovac’s vaccine manufacturing expansion.
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Biovac is part of a consortium of organizations that has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its COVAX partners to establish the first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in South Africa.
Biovac has also entered into an agreement with Pfizer in July 2021 with the goal to manufacture up to 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use exclusively in Africa.
Biovac aims to expand its vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa initially through its current activities related to the production of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine and subsequently for much needed routine vaccines as well. This will bolster the global response to COVID-19 and advance long-term health security throughout the African continent.
To realize the expansion and increased local vaccine manufacturing capacity on the African continent, Biovac will need to raise around $150 million (ZAR2.3 billion).
The consortium partners will aim to support Biovac in this future manufacturing plant capacity and vaccine pipeline expansion.
The consortium partners include the African Development Bank (AfDB), CDC Group – UK’s development finance institution which is soon to be renamed British International Investment, the German development finance institution DEG, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union Delegation to South Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), and the French development finance institution Proparco. ■