BioNTech, the German biotechnology company that partnered with Pfizer to develop its COVID vaccine, is set to ship its first modular mRNA vaccine factory to Rwanda. The factory, called BioNTainer, is built in Germany, and consists of a module where production of the mRNA vaccine can be done in bulk. This allows BioNTech to bypass the quality challenges of setting up a factory with limited local technologies – and of sharing know-how related to mRNA vaccine production. Only the fill and finish will be done by local partners in Ghana and South Africa. Once the facility is up and running, it is expected to produce 50 million COVID vaccine doses a year. The vaccines manufactured in the BioNTainers will be sold in the Africa region on a not-for-profit basis.

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