President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Ramaphosa welcomes Biovac/Pfizer collaboration on Covid-19 vaccine production

By Chad Williams Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of a collaboration between South Africa’s Biovac Institute and global pharmaceutical producer Pfizer to manufacture the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa, labelling it as a “breakthrough” in the protection of African nations against the coronavirus.

The president said the agreement will contribute significantly to health security and sustainability on the African continent, which currently has the least access to vaccination in the world.

“The partnership between Biovac and Pfizer is a breakthrough in our effort to overcome global vaccine inequity. The protection of Africans is a necessary and critical contribution to the protection of humanity as a whole,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the partnership demonstrates what the country can achieve when the state sector and the private sector craft a shared vision and pool resources for the greater good of society.

“This collaboration recognises the talent and technology that exists on our continent that can be harnessed in our irreversible march of sustainable and inclusive development,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the more we roll up our sleeves to receive our jabs, the safer we will be as individuals, families and communities. The safer we are, the more secure our future as a continent on the rise will be, he added.

In June, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its Covax partners announced that they were working with a South African consortium comprising Biovac, Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, a network of universities and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish its first Covid-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of local production to address health emergencies, strengthen regional health security and expand sustainable access to health products.

African News Agency (ANA)

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