The Biovac Institute is in talks with the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and other potential financiers, as it seeks to raise R2bn to expand its vaccine manufacturing capacity. State-backed Biovac recently clinched a deal to bottle up to 100-million doses a year of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines and helps manufacture smaller volumes of childhood vaccines for Pfizer and Sanofi.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted Africa’s dependence on vaccine imports and spurred a host of initiatives to ramp up manufacturing capacity on the continent, including support from international development finance institutions. Increasing vaccine manufacturing capacity on the continent would not only help combat the coronavirus pandemic, but also put Africa in a better position to navigate future health crises, said DFC COO David Marchick, who is visiting SA and India this week...

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