Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia to establish mRNA vaccine production
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced the first six countries that will receive the technology needed to produce mRNA vaccines on the African continent. Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia all applied and have been selected as recipients.
The announcement was made at a ceremony hosted by the European Council, France, South Africa and WHO in the presence of President Macron, President Ramaphosa, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
The global mRNA technology transfer hub was established in 2021 to support manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to produce their own vaccines, ensuring that they have all the necessary operating procedures and know-how to manufacture mRNA vaccines at scale and according to international standards.
Primarily set up to address the COVID-19 emergency, the hub has the potential to expand manufacturing capacity for other products as well, putting countries in the driver’s seat when it comes to the kinds of vaccines and other products they need to address their health priorities.
Depending on the infrastructure, workforce and clinical research and regulatory capacity in place, WHO and partners will work with the beneficiary countries to develop a roadmap and put in place the necessary training and support so that they can start producing vaccines as soon as possible.
WHO Director-General, Dr 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. In the mid- to long-term, 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, with equitable access as their primary endpoint.”