Manufacturing a chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to meet global needs

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2022 Jan;119(1):48-58. doi: 10.1002/bit.27945. Epub 2021 Nov 15.


Manufacturing has been the key factor limiting rollout of vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring rapid development and large-scale implementation of novel manufacturing technologies. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222, Vaxzevria) is an efficacious vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, based upon an adenovirus vector. We describe the development of a process for the production of this vaccine and others based upon the same platform, including novel features to facilitate very large-scale production. We discuss the process economics and the "distributed manufacturing" approach we have taken to provide the vaccine at globally-relevant scale and with international security of supply. Together, these approaches have enabled the largest viral vector manufacturing campaign to date, providing a substantial proportion of global COVID-19 vaccine supply at low cost.

Keywords: adenovirus; distributed manufacturing; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19*
  • Drug Industry / methods*
  • Escherichia coli
  • Geography
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Pan troglodytes
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical
  • Vaccination / instrumentation
  • Vaccine Development*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19