Kenya will begin producing Covid vaccines next year.
Kenya will begin producing Covid-19 vaccines domestically next year in cooperation with unidentified pharmaceutical companies, in an effort to alleviate supply bottlenecks that have slowed widespread immunization.
Mutahi Kagwe, the Health Cabinet Secretary, disclosed in an internal vaccination blueprint that the government has begun the process of constructing a filling factory for the Covid-19 vaccinations.
Mr Kagwe said that a full-fledged vaccine production facility would be constructed by 2024. A fill and finish facility assists third parties in placing vaccines from major producers into vials or syringes, sealing them, and packaging them for distribution.
Many manufacturers outsource the filling and finishing of their vaccines, and African nations such as Senegal, Rwanda, and South Africa are in discussions with investors to begin manufacturing coronavirus vaccines.
“To improve our vaccine supply security, the government has embarked on the local manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, beginning with the establishment of a fill-and-finish facility through strategic partnerships and technological transfer,” Mr Kagwe stated in the National Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan, 2021.
“We want to begin local production in the first quarter of 2022 and to have a fully functional human vaccine manufacturing capacity by 2024.”
According to Mr Kagwe, local manufacturing will help secure enough vaccinations to expand the country’s immunization programs.
Kenya intends to vaccinate 26 million adult Kenyans by the end of June next year, with at least 10 million vaccinated by Christmas this year.
To complement the Astrazeneca vaccinations, it has purchased vaccine doses from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
To produce COVID-19 vaccines, Kenya would need to form a collaboration with a vaccine patent holder.