Manufacturing & Production

Biovac produces first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses

South Africa’s Biovac has made its first batch of the mRNA shot. The company finished its first doses at its facility in Cape Town, according to Bloomberg.
Before Biovac begins its next production batch, the first set of shots will be evaluated by the South African Health Regulatory Products Authority, said CEO Morena Makhoana. Subsequent doses are set to be sold commercially, starting next year.
Biovac, which is partly owned by the government, is now on an expansion spree and expects to employ as many as 584 people at the end of this year, Bloomberg reports.
Vaccine makers have faced scrutiny throughout the pandemic for not investing more time and effort to supply doses to lowand middle-income countries. Many of the top vaccine producers responded by pledging manufacturing investments and securing deals with local partners to boost supply.
Moderna has said that it will invest $500 million in building a ‘state-of-the-art’ mRNA facility in Kenya to produce up to 500 million vaccine doses a year. Johnson & Johnson has also made moves towards African manufacturing. The company has enlisted Aspen Pharmacare to produce and sell its vaccine in Africa.