Germany’s BioNTech To Build Africa Vaccine Plant From 2022 – Todayuknews

Germany’s BioNTech, which developed a coronavirus vaccine with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, said Tuesday it aims to begin building a vaccine plant in Africa next year.

It was not clear where the facility will be located, but BioNTech said it was working with authorities in both Rwanda and Senegal and planned to begin construction “in mid-2022”.

The plant will initially have capacity to produce around 50 million vaccine doses per year, the German company said.

BioNTech had in August announced plans to build “sustainable vaccine production capabilities” in Rwanda and Senegal, producing not only COVID-19 vaccines but also mRNA-based malaria and tuberculosis vaccines.

“We will work together to build a regional production network to support access to African-produced vaccines for Africa,” BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin said on Tuesday.

In July, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they were partnering with the Biovac Group to bottle their COVID-19 vaccine in Cape Town, South Africa, beginning in 2022.

Currently, just one percent of vaccines used in Africa are manufactured on the continent. The African Union wants to increase this proportion to 60 percent by 2040.

US pharmaceutical giant Moderna earlier this month also announced plans to build a vaccine plant in Africa.

More than 10 months after the world’s first COVID shot was administered and nearly two years into the pandemic itself, barely five percent of eligible Africans have been fully immunised.

The problem has exposed Africa’s huge dependence on imported vaccines and its weakness in technology compared with Europe, China and the United States.

US pharmaceutical firm Moderna to build plant in Africa

© 2021 AFP

Germany’s BioNTech to build Africa vaccine plant from 2022 (2021, October 26)
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