Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention convened regional and international stakeholders in Rwanda last week to discuss progress on boosting vaccine manufacturing on the continent.

A joint communiqué underscored successes to date, saying the Partnership for Africa Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) had struck deals between multinational and local companies and established WHO training and manufacturing “hubs.” However, the session also recognized stiff…

The state of the fight: 

New studies supported heterologous primary regimens and heterologous boosters.
  Serum Institute of India is weighing slashing Covishield production by 50%.
  The U.S. FDA OK’d AstraZeneca’s Evusheld long-acting monoclonal antibody therapy as PrEP for certain groups.



Mixing the AstraZeneca/Oxford or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines with a second dose of Moderna’s shot generated non-inferior immune responses …

The state of the fight: 

A slew of vaccine manufacturers announced plans to tackle the Omicron variant.
  Aspen Pharmacare and J&J neared a deal that would let the South African manufacturer market its own version of the Janssen shot.
  Gavi’s board approved the alliance’s COVAX strategy for 2022.


New research on the Pfizer/BioNTech shot affirmed its efficacy in younger people and its safety in older people.

The state of the fight: 

WHO issued an Emergency Use Listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine.
  Kenya’s Revital Healthcare will more than triple its annual syringe production amid a “looming shortfall” in LMICs.
  Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral slashed Covid-19 hospitalizations or death by 89%.



WHO listed Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine for emergency use on Wednesday, citing 78% efficacy against Covid-19 of any severity…

Following up on its previously announced ambitions to make mRNA vaccines in Africa, Germany’s BioNTech issued a joint communiqué last week with Institut Pasteur de Dakar and Rwanda Biomedical Centre outlining a potential—albeit “pre-contractual”—agreement.

If the deal gets formalized, BioNTech will pursue “end-to-end” manufacturing of mRNA-based malaria and tuberculosis vaccines (pending regulatory approval) in Rwanda and Senegal for supply to African Union member states, while “…

The state of the fight: 

Regeneron and Roche’s REGEN-COV became the first antibody drug to score U.S. FDA clearance for post-exposure prophylaxis of Covid-19.
  Six-month data on Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine showed continuing high efficacy against severe disease.
  Antibody levels induced by Sinovac’s vaccine dropped sharply six months after completion of a two-dose regimen, according to new data.   Approved or authorized vaccines

New, six-month Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine…

Germany’s BioNTech announced Monday that it is “evaluating sustainable mRNA vaccine production capacities in Africa” for a candidate malaria shot and other vaccines.

The company said in a press release it would select promising candidates for clinical development from “multiple vaccines featuring known [m]alaria targets” (such as the circumsporozoite protein) while also evaluating new antigens. First trials are planned for year-end 2022.

In the same press release, BioNTech said…

WHO announced Monday that the COVAX partnership’s first Covid-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub will launch with a South African consortium comprising Biovac, Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, a “network of universities,” and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

A press release quoted WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as saying Covid-19 had “highlighted the importance of local production to address health emergencies,” while South Africa’s…

The state of the hunt: 

China authorized Sinovac’s vaccine for children as young as age 3.
  The U.S. will reportedly divert $2 billion from COVAX to pay Pfizer/BioNTech for doses it intends to donate.
  Merck entered a $1.2 billion deal to supply an investigational antiviral to the U.S., pending a regulatory nod.   Approved or authorized vaccines

China cleared Sinovac’s CoronaVac jab for youths ages 3 to 17, becoming the first country to offer Covid-19 vaccines to…

Belgium-based biomanufacturing platform company Univercells announced Tuesday that it has signed letters of intent with two Senegal-based organizations to strengthen local vaccine manufacturing capacity. The company will work with the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training to strengthen its R&D capabilities and create bioproduction capacity for routine immunization vaccines, and will also partner with Institut Pasteur de Dakar to rapidly establish local…