Jul 26, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

South Africa to produce Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers BioNTech and Pfizer announced on Wednesday that they have found a South African partner for the first time to manufacture their vaccine on the African continent.

The move comes amid growing criticism on vaccine inequality, which has resulted in poor countries falling behind richer ones in the race to protect people from the coronavirus.

Under the agreement, Cape Town-based Biovac will be the final step in the manufacturing process of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, known as “Fill and Finish,” the companies said in a statement.

However, the project will take some time to get going, with the first being made in Africa Pfizer vaccines are not expected until 2022.

Once operational, Biovac will produce more than 100 million doses annually, which will be distributed to 55 countries in the African Union.

“The t is a crucial step forward in strengthening sustainable access to a vaccine in the fight against this tragic global pandemic, “said Biovac Chief Executive Officer Morena Makhoana.

The” technical transfer that takes place on-site Development and installation of the equipment will begin immediately, “added the statement.

The one from BioNTech in Germany and its US partner Pfizer, which is based on experimental mRNA technology, became the first at the end of last year approved in the west.

Studies have shown that it is highly effective against Covid-19, also against newer variants.

Another plant in South Africa is already developing the fill-and-finish Process for the Covid-19 syringe developed by pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson, which uses a traditional viral vector-based method.

With vaccine rollouts in the West, supply is in full swing and in some countries supply is even exceeding demand . The demands for patent waiver of their life-saving injections by pharmaceutical companies have become loud.

This has been vehemently rejected by the companies themselves and countries like Germany, whose Chancellor Angela Merkel says intellectual property rights could stifle innovation and reduce the lack of production capacity not fix it in the short term.

Instead, she advocated licensing agreements and partnerships between vaccine manufacturers and local companies, an approach by BioNTech and Pfizer.

“Our goal is to meet people on every continent enable the manufacture and distribution of our vaccine while ensuring the quality of the manufacturing process and dosage, “said Ugur Sahin, Co-Founder and CEO of BioNTech.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said out loud prepared remarks at a summit the World Trade Organization that the weakening of intellectual property “only the kind v on unprecedented innovation that advanced vaccines in record time and made it difficult for companies to work together in the future ”. “.

Pfizer / BioNTech said they have delivered more than one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to more than 100 countries or territories to date, including through the global Covax vaccine-sharing program. < / p> p>

The Covax program, supported by the World Health Organization and heavily used by African countries, has so far delivered far fewer doses than expected.

The WHO estimated that only two percent earlier this month of the African population, around 16 million people, have been fully vaccinated.

South Africa has the highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Africa, with more than 2.3 million infections and over 67,000 deaths.

The country is currently battling a brutal third wave of the pandemic fueled by a shortage of vaccines, public fatigue from Covid restrictions, and the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant.

South African President Cyri l Ramaphosa announced a plan last month to turn his country into an mRNA vaccine center, saying Africans “cannot continue to rely on vaccines made outside of Africa because they never come”.

, known as “Fill and Finish,” the companies said in a statement.

The project will take some time to get there, but with the first Pfizer vaccines made in Africa that are not expected before 2022.

Once operational, Biovac will produce more than 100 million cans annually, which will be distributed to 55 countries in the African Union.

“This is a crucial step forward to strengthening sustainable access to a vaccine in the fight against this tragic global pandemic, “said Morena Makhoana, Chief Executive Officer of Biovac.

The” technical transfer, on-site development and installation the equipment will start immediately, “he said It continues in the statement.

The coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech in Germany and its US partner Pfizer on the basis of experimental mRNA technology was the first to be approved in the West at the end of last year. < / p>

Studies have shown that it is highly effective against Covid-19, also against newer variants.

Another plant in South Africa is already the fill-and-finish process for that of pharmaceu developed Covid-19-Shot unwind Johnson & Johnson, which uses a traditional viral vector-based method.

With the adoption of vaccines in the West well advanced and supply in some countries even exceeding demand, the demands are after a waiver by pharmaceutical companies. Patents on their life-saving stitches.

This has been fiercely rejected by the companies themselves and by countries like Germany, whose Chancellor Angela Merkel says that the suspension of intellectual property rights could stifle innovation and lack of production capacity would not fix it in the short term.

Instead, she has advocated licensing agreements and partnerships between vaccine manufacturers and local companies, an approach by BioNTech and Pfizer.

“We want to empower people to on every continent to manufacture and distribute our vaccine while ensuring the quality of the manufacturing process and dosages, “said Ugur Sahin, Co-Founder and CEO of BioNTech.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, according to prepared remarks at a World Trade Organization summit, said the weakening of intellectual property “will only discourage the kind of unprecedented innovation that vaccinates toffe has advanced in record time, making it difficult for companies to work together in the future. “

Pfizer / BioNTech said they have shipped more than a billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to more than 100 countries or territories , including through the Covax global vaccine exchange program.

However, the Covax program, which is supported by the World Health Organization and heavily used by African countries, has so far given far fewer doses than expected.

The WHO estimated earlier this month that only two percent of the African population, about 16 million people, were fully vaccinated.

South Africa has the highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Africa, recording more than 2.3 million infections and over 67,000 deaths.

The country is currently grappling with a brutal third wave of the pandemic, fueled by a lack of vaccines, public fatigue wi Covid restrictions and the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a plan last month to turn his country into an mRNA vaccine hub, saying Africans “can.” stop relying on vaccines that “are made outside of Africa because they never come”.