A nine-partner consortium will support Biovac’s expansion of its South African production capacity in an effort to increase production of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
Biovac will raise about $ 150 million to increase local capacity in an effort to get doses across Africa. Partners include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the CDC Group, the German financial group DEG, the US International Development Finance Corporation and the French Proparco.
“Covid-19 has proven that a more geographical spread of vaccine production is needed globally, with the African continent having the smallest number of vaccine producers. We are pleased that the consortium of funders is willing to work with Biovac to create sustainable African vaccine production, not only to respond to the current pandemic, but also to much-needed routine and future pandemic vaccines, said Biovacs CFO Craig Mitchell. announcement.
The consortium is part of the 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan for Africa, which aims to increase local drug production by 70% by 2030 and vaccines by 60% by 2040. It is all part of a goal to get closer to Africa on self-sufficiency.
Following production promises, demand for Covid-19 testing has declined
Just in January, when the demand for Covid-19 tests at home had skyrocketed, US President Joe Biden announced a plan to make 1 billion Covid-19 tests available free of charge, doubling a pledge of 500 million. Manufacturer Abbott Laboratories publicly warned that there could be a shortage of supplies as the Omicron wave combined with the US holidays resulted in sold-out shelves and municipalities adopting free testing programs.
But now that the Omicron variant has come under control, the demand for home tests has dropped. A spokesman for CVS told CNN to the dealer has experienced a steep drop in tests, and out of all the free home tests made available, less than 300 million have been ordered.
Test producers like Quidenl, Roche and Abbott, who all have contracts with the White House, will continue to increase production, but companies fear that without a guaranteed purchase agreement, there could be a surplus in production.