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Kenya Among Six African Countries to Receive mRNA Vaccine Technology

The 6 African countries selected to receive mRNA vaccines technology against Covid are Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia, a European Union and African Union nations meet heard.

PHOTO: BioNTech SE

Kenya is among six countries selected to receive the technology necessary to produce mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Other countries are Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

This was announced Friday at the 6th African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) Summit in Brussels, Belgium.

The six have been chosen to build vaccine production factories as part of a bid the World Health Organisation launched in 2021 to support manufacturers in low and middle-income countries to produce their own vaccines as part of the efforts to address vaccine inequity.

“The aim of the hub is to provide a facility where manufacturers from low- and lower-middle-income countries can receive training in how to produce certain vaccines and the licenses to do so. WHO will work with the companies and the government in each country to develop a roadmap for training and production, based on their needs and capacities,” the WHO Director-General said at an event on the margins of the AU-EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Friday’s announcement “demonstrates the power of partnerships to change the trajectory of Africa’s health for the better.”

In 2021, Kenya expressed interest in the establishment of a technology transfer hub for mRNA vaccines in the country.

“Today marks a new dawn of hope and promise for the African continent and her people. As one of the region’s foremost leaders in biomedical research, Kenya is honoured to be listed as one of the beneficiary countries of the mRNA technology transfer program,” President Kenyatta said.

Clinical trials of the mRNA vaccines in the beneficiary countries are expected to start in the 4th quarter of 2022, with approval expected in 2024.

“We expect the benefits of this initiative will extend far beyond Covid-19 by creating a platform for vaccines against other diseases including malaria and tuberculosis,” Dr Tedros said.

Africa currently produces just 1% of coronavirus vaccines. According to WHO figures, only 11% of the population in Africa is fully vaccinated, compared with the global average of about 50%.

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