BioNTech to start making mRNA vaccine in Rwanda 2025
BioNTech, the manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines, is targeting the commencement of production at its mRNA vaccine factory site in Rwanda by 2025, as per statements from company officials on Monday. This facility represents the first foreign company's mRNA vaccine manufacturing site on the African continent.
The initial modular components of the German company's factory, designed from shipping containers, arrived at the construction site in Kigali in March and were subsequently assembled into structures known as BioNTainers.
Ugur Sahin, the co-founder and CEO of BioNTech, emphasized, "Africa will have one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world," and highlighted the versatility of BioNTainers in producing various mRNA vaccines. The company confirmed that it has fully financed the facility, committing a total of $150 million for this significant initiative.
When BioNTech announced its decision to establish operations in Africa, it coincided with a notable and criticized delay in the shipment of Western-made coronavirus vaccine doses to the continent. BioNTech, known for developing one of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines in partnership with Pfizer, responded to this situation in 2022 by outlining a plan to facilitate the production of its Comirnaty-branded vaccine by African countries. Importantly, this production would occur under BioNTech's supervision, reflecting the company's commitment to addressing vaccine distribution challenges and promoting local manufacturing to enhance access in the African region.