Pfizer will turn to a plant in Africa to help supply the continent with vaccines next year.

Pfizer and BioNTech said on Wednesday that they have reached an agreement with a South African vaccine manufacturer, starting next year, to handle the final stages of manufacturing for doses of their Covid shot that will be supplied exclusively to African nations.

The deal represents the first time Pfizer’s Covid vaccine will be partly produced in Africa and it could eventually help increase supply to a continent where months of severe vaccine shortages have resulted in only about 1.5 percent of people being fully immunized.

But the agreement comes with caveats that will significantly limit its impact at a time when the fast-spreading Delta variant has driven a surge in infections and hospitalizations and sent the continent into the most devastating phase of its pandemic.

Crucially, the South African producer, Biovac, will only be handling distribution and “fill-finish” — the final phase of the manufacturing process, during which the vaccine is placed

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Business.

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