Moderna unveiled plans for its first African vaccine facility in Kenya.
The business said it planned to spend $500 million (460 million euros) in the new plant, which would manufacture vaccinations for the continent’s 1.3 billion inhabitants, the majority of whom have been denied access to Covid vaccines.
“Combating the Covid-19 outbreak over the past two years has served as a reminder of how much effort has to be done to guarantee global health fairness. “Stephane Bancel, the company’s CEO, stated in a statement that Moderna is determined to be a part of the solution.”
Moderna plans to utilize the facility to ship doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to African countries as early as next year, in an effort to increase vaccination coverage on the world’s least immunized continent.
“Moderna’s investment in Kenya will help promote fair global vaccination access and is representative of the structural reforms that will allow Africa to become an engine of sustainable global growth,” said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a year after the world’s first Covid-19 injection was provided and two years into the epidemic, just 12.7 percent of Africans had been completely immunized (CDC).
The epidemic has highlighted Africa’s reliance on foreign vaccinations as well as its technological shortcomings in comparison to Europe, China, and the United States.
Moderna’s announcement follows the World Health Organization’s decision last year to establish a global mRNA vaccine centre in South Africa, with Kenya one of six African countries chosen to be the first receivers of technology geared at enable local producers to produce vaccines.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, has frequently advocated for fair access to vaccinations in order to combat the epidemic, and has chastised affluent countries for hoarding doses.
Currently, just 1% of the vaccinations used in Africa are manufactured on the continent.
African and other poor countries are requesting a temporary intellectual property waiver from the World Trade Organization in order to enable generic manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
Europe, which is home to several of the key corporations behind the vaccinations, has argued that the first goal should be to build up manufacturing capacity in poorer countries.