Six African countries will have their own production of messenger RNA vaccines
A caregiver administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
AP - Matt Rourke
Text by: RFI Follow
South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia have been chosen by the World Health Organization to enable the African continent, which has suffered from restricted access to vaccines against -Covid, to manufacture its own vaccines to fight against the coronavirus pandemic but also other diseases.
This is the first announcement of this sixth European Union – African Union summit: the establishment of means of production of messenger RNA vaccines on the continent.
South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia have been chosen by
The WHO said it would work with the first six countries chosen to develop a roadmap for training and support so they can start producing vaccines as quickly as possible.
The training is due to start in March.
The European Commission, with France, Germany and Belgium will invest 40 million euros to help technology transfer.
These laboratories will also make it possible to produce insulin or a treatment against cancer.
Regarding the production of vaccines, South Africa is ahead of the game because
the project started last year
but has not yet reached the commercial stage.
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: millions of doses of anti-covid vaccines produced in South Africa sent to Europe
11% of the continent's population vaccinated
Currently, Africa imports 99% of the vaccines it needs and only three countries on the continent have the necessary industrial means.
The priority which was therefore announced at the summit was to implement technology transfer.
The objective of these regional hubs is for the continent to be able to manufacture 60% of the vaccines it needs by 2040.
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, welcomed this announcement but according to him, we must go further in the transfer of technologies.
It is not acceptable that Africa is consistently at the bottom of the pack when it comes to access to medicines.
We accept the help that is offered to us, but it is not a viable long-term mechanism.
Cyril Ramaphose, President of South Africa
To get out of the acute phase of the
pandemic , according to the WHO, 70% of the African population should be vaccinated before the summer.
Only 11% are currently.
On the other hand, the African Union has again called for the lifting of patents, even temporary, but it has again come up against a refusal by the Europeans.
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