Six African nations — Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia – will be the first on the continent to get the technology needed to make mRNA Covid vaccines, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Last year, the technology transfer initiative was initiated with the goal of assisting low and middle-income nations in the mass-production of mRNA Covid vaccines in accordance with international standards.
For their COVID-19 shots, companies like Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna use advanced technology called mRNA.
Following Covid vaccine stockpiling by wealthier nations and businesses that prioritized sales to states that could pay the highest price, the WHO developed its worldwide mRNA technology transfer centre.
Low- and middle-income nations were put at the back of the line for COVID-19 vaccines as a result.
The COVID epidemic, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, illustrated more than any previous incident how relying on a few firms to offer global public goods was both limited and harmful.
“The greatest solution to manage health emergencies and achieve universal health coverage in the mid-to-long term is to dramatically improve all areas’ ability to manufacture the health items they require,” he said in a statement.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has asked the global vaccine distribution system COVAX and the vaccinations partnership GAVI to purchase vaccines from local production centres.
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“The lack of a market for vaccines produced in Africa should be of concern to all of us,” Ramaphosa said at a press conference in Brussels on the sidelines of a European Union-African Union meeting.
“Organizations like COVAX and GAVI must commit to purchasing vaccinations from local manufacturers rather than going outside of the established hubs.”
“Our goal for the course is to have 60% of vaccinations provided in Africa, Senegalese President Macky Sall remarked. It should also be made in Africa.”