South African firm to make Pfizer vaccine, first in Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Pfizer says a South African firm will begin producing the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement Wednesday is important because it will be the first time that the vaccine will be produced in Africa. The Biovac Institute based in Cape Town will manufacture the vaccine for distribution across Africa. Biovac will receive large batch ingredients for the vaccine from Europe and will blend the components, put them in vials and package them for distribution. The production will begin in 2022 with a goal of reaching more than 100 million finished doses annually. Biovac’s production of doses will be distributed among the 54 countries of Africa. South Africa is relying upon the Pfizer vaccine in its mass inoculation drive.