Six African Countries To Produce mRNA Covid Vaccines

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is "assured that this virus is natural in origin"
The World Health Organization (WHO) is "assured that this virus is natural in origin"

The World Health Organization announced Friday in a press release that six countries in Africa will receive the necessary resources to produce mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to boost vaccinations worldwide. 

Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, and Tunisia have been selected as the first countries on the continent to partake in the WHO-led project. It aims to aid middle and lower-income nations in producing generic versions of the vaccines, putting an end to dependence on outside regions to access doses.

According to scientific journal Nature, Africa produces a mere 1% of its vaccines, with the rest being imported from nations around the world. The continent has 54 countries and a population of over one billion. 

“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,” said WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“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.”


Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wants an international treaty to end the sorry cycle of 'neglect and panic'
Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wants an international treaty to end the sorry cycle of 'neglect and panic'
Photo: POOL via AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI

According to data from the WHO, a mere 11% of the African population is vaccinated. This initiative will not only increase manufacturing of the COVID vaccine but also with other treatments, such as insulin for diabetes and cancer medicine.  

As nations continue to relax their COVID-19 restrictions, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan stressed that additional variants are imminent and that the pandemic is not over

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