Tag Archive for: Flatten the Curve

BioNTech and Pfizer have announced that they reached a deal with Biovac to produce Covid-19 for the African Union (AU) countries beginning in 2022. Biovac is a bio-pharmaceutical company that was established with the South African government as a partnership for local vaccine manufacturing capability. Under this agreement, 100 million doses are expected to be produced annually for the AU countries.

In an MoneyWeb’s interview with the CEO of Biovac, Dr Morena Makhoana states that this is a historical moment for Africa as this is the first mRNA technology transfer on the continent. Pfizer has committed about 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine before the Biovac-Pfizer agreement.

Biovac CEO states, “The deal is to “fill and finish” the vaccine, the final stages of manufacturing where the product is processed and put into vials. It does not cover the complicated processes of mRNA drug substance production, which Pfizer and BioNTech will do at their own facilities in Europe”.

Pfizer released a press release in which the full statement of the Biovac and Pfizer-Biotech deal was extensively discussed. In the technicality of the manufacturing of the vaccine in Africa, Pfizer writes, “Biovac will perform manufacturing and distribution activities within Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s global COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and manufacturing network, which will now span three continents and include more than 20 manufacturing facilities. To facilitate Biovac’s involvement in the process, technical transfer, on-site development and equipment installation activities will begin immediately.”

We can expect the Biovac’s integration into the vaccine supply chain by the end of 2021, while the manufacturing of finished doses is scheduled to star in 2022. Once full operation capacity is reached, the annual production is set to exceed 100 million finished doses distributed within the 55 states of the AU.

Pfizer Chairman and CEO, Albert Bourla wrote, “Our latest collaboration with Biovac is a shining example of the tireless work being done, in this instance to benefit Africa. We will continue to explore and pursue opportunities to bring new partners into our supply chain network, including in Latin America, to further accelerate access of COVID-19 vaccines.”

This is good news for the continent of Africa. Currently experiencing the third-wave and a hampered rollout out, things are looking up as Senegal joins likes of Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa in the list of African countries that have successfully secured the rights to produce the jabs.

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In Africa, there is an alarming third wave as the vaccine rollout is hampered. In recent light of the vaccine rollout in all parts of the world, third world countries vaccine rollout seems to be stagnant, experts fearing that it may take decades to vaccinate their respective countries.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office has reported that the third wave of Covid-19 cases is spreading faster in Africa. On Thursday, 17 June 2021, WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti warned, “With a rapid increase in the number of cases and increasing reports of severe disease, the latest wave threatens to be the worst to date in Africa,”

According to the regional office, for five consecutive weeks, Africa has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, signaling the beginning of the third wave in Africa. “As of 20 June—day 48 into the new wave—Africa had recorded around 474 000 new cases—a 21% increase compared with the first 48 days of the second wave.” As reported by WHO, the pandemic is resurging in 12 African countries and at the current rate of infections, the ongoing surge is set to surpass the previous one by early July.

18 African countries have already used over 80% of their COVAX vaccine supplies, 29 have administered over 50% of their suppliers, and eight have exhausted their vaccine supply. It is important to be aware that just over 1% of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated. Globally, 2.7 billion doses have been administered, with just under 1.5% having been administered in Africa.

Dr Moeti is urging the international community to help Africa deal with the Covid-19 vaccine supply as the surge threatens to impair not only Africa’s economy but society.



Pfizer Vaccine Arrives in South Africa

More than 325 000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have arrived in South Africa. The Pfizer vaccine arrived on May 2 at OR Tambo International Airport. This is the first shipment with similar-sized shipments being expected weekly until the end of May. There is an expected total of 1.3 million Pfizer vaccines to be delivered.

Photo Credit: Dr Zweli Mkhize

In a statement released by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Pfizer vaccine will undergo quality assurance at the National Control Laboratory and be distributed thereafter. Further in his statement, Dr Zweli Mkhize stated, “The vaccine supply will increase to an average of 636 480 doses weekly from 31 May which will see us accumulating close to 4.5-million doses by the end of June,” said Mkhize in his Sunday statement.

Phase two of the South African COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan, to vaccinate people 60 years and above is set to start on May 17. Phase two of this rollout be finished by November 2021. The Department of Health aims to vaccinate approximately 16.6 million people during this time.

This is a good sign for the mass vaccination in South Africa. More so, it is a greater win for relocation and global mobility during this pandemic. We hope in the next few months, there will be greater progress with vaccination rollout across Africa. For more information on vaccine rollout and progress in Africa, click https://mediahack.co.za/datastories/coronavirus/vaccinations/?referrer=bhekisisa-vaccines-widget  


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.





AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine is expected to be effective against mutating Covid-19 variants, including those discovered in South Africa and the UK.

“So far, we think the vaccine should remain effective,” CEO Pascal Soriot told The Sunday Times.

“But we can’t be sure, so we’re going to test that,” he told the newspaper. The vaccine is currently being trialled in South Africa. In saying AstraZeneca’s vaccine will protect against strains of the coronavirus, Soriot echoed Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech. There was a “relatively high” possibility that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would work against variants, Sahin said last week. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is also being tested in South Africa.

The new virus variant discovered in South Africa seems to be more transmissible than the original virus, local scientists said last week.

In addition, two of the mutations in the new South African variant reduce virus sensitivity to some antibodies, meaning that these antibodies may not be as effective against this new variant. These mutations were not seen in new variants in the UK and Australia.

The variant discovered in the UK could be about 70% more transmissible and had already infected about 40,000 people in the UK by midweek, per Reuters.

The new strain was discovered in Japan on Friday, brought by travellers from the UK, according to Reuters. About seven people, including five who had traveled from the UK to Japan, tested positive, The Associated Press reported on Sunday.

On Monday, Japan plans a sweeping ban on foreigners entering the country, in part because of the new strains, according to The Associated Press.

The UK government signed deals for 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Oxford University. That vaccine is the largest single order from the government, which has signed deals for 357 million doses of various vaccines.

As of Christmas Eve, about 617,000 people in the UK had received doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, according to official statistics.

The UK government is now reviewing vaccines from AstraZeneca and Moderna.

“The NHS across the UK is working incredibly hard to scale up the vaccination programme as fast as they can to make sure everyone on the priority list can get their vaccine easily,” said Nadhim Zahawi, the minister overseeing vaccine deployment, in a statement.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].