Africa still imports 99 percent of its vaccines. According to plans by the German pharmaceutical manufacturer Biontech, this should change in the medium term. The Mainz-based company has developed a mobile production facility for vaccines: A "biotainer" consists of six containers and offers space for all the equipment required for the production of mRNA-based vaccines in ready-to-fill batches. The first production facilities are planned for Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa. Initially, the in-house vaccine against the corona virus is to be produced in the plants, according to Biontech “at cost price”. Later, vaccines against malaria and tuberculosis – which are still in development – could also be produced locally in this way.
The first turnkey plants are expected to arrive in Africa in the second half of the year. However, it could be another twelve months before production starts.