Moderna Inc has reportedly planned to expand its USD 500 million vaccine facility in Kenya beyond making vaccines for COVID-19.
This move comes following reports of vaccine oversupply across the world which was once striving to obtain immunization against COVID-19, citing concerns over the viability of upcoming COVID-19 plants.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has stated that vaccine facilities in the country’s pipeline, including Moderna’s, would also make other vaccines. Thus, the oversupply of COVID-19 vaccines would not impact the construction plans.
Mr. Kagwe rejected concerns that the production overflow of COVID vaccines could hinder Kenya’s as well as Africa’s plan to construct vaccine plants.
Earlier, Moderna had stated that it anticipates investing USD 500 million in the Kenyan vaccine production plant and supplying more than 500 million mRNA vaccine doses to the African continent every year.
Following the deal with the Kenyan administration, the biotech giant also intends to start filing its Covid vaccine doses in Africa as early as next year. Moderna asserted that the facility is expected to produce mRNA therapeutics and vaccines rather than explicitly producing COVID-19 vaccines.
Moderna has developed many mRNA-based vaccines, including for HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, and shingles.
Over the past year, vaccine manufacturers invested in huge production capacity. Some of that has commenced operations only after most countries administered most of their populations with recommended two doses.
Furthermore, the global normalization to live with the virus-apart from a stern zero-patient policy in Hong Kong and China- has also reduced the urgent requirement for booster shots.
A month ago, the Institute of India Ltd, the largest vaccine producer in the world and a major supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations, stated that it has stopped producing fresh COVID vaccine batches after its stock increased to 200 million doses.
Many countries across the continent have facilitated pandemic-related restrictions and relaxed masking regulations and quarantines.