Six African countries to produce own mRNA vaccines

Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia are the first six African countries to join the WHO scheme

Six African countries, namely Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia, will begin producing their own mRNA vaccines through a program led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The project’s goal is to aid low- and middle-income countries in manufacturing mRNA vaccines so as to end the reliance of countries on manufacturers outside of their respective continents.

WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “No other event like the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that reliance on a few companies to supply global public goods is limiting, and dangerous.”

“The best way to address health emergencies and reach universal health coverage is to significantly increase the capacity of all regions to manufacture the health products they need,” he added.

The WHO’s announcement also comes after BioNTech, the manufacturer of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, has declared to deliver facilities to several African nations so that Pfizer can be produced in the continent.

The global mRNA hub is also said to be able to potentially manufacture other vaccines and products as well, including those that are needed to treat diabetes, cancer medicines, malaria, tuberculosis, and even HIV.

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