After the emergence of the novel coronavirus, major pharmaceutical players have ramped up production and supply of Covid-19 vaccines and pills globally allowing countries to combat the unprecedented crisis.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of Africa – one of the leading public health agencies in the continent – has inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with pharma giant Pfizer to bring its Paxlovid antiviral Covid-19 pills into the continent.
According to John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC – which is a part of the African Union (AU) – the memorandum of understanding with Pfizer remains at the legal office of AU.
Interesting to note that the partnership was announced merely days after Moderna inked a collaboration deal with Kenya to establish its first mRNA facility.
In addition to Moderna, South African drug developer Aspen also inked a similar deal with Johnson & Johnson to sell, package and distribute the latter’s Covid-19 vaccines across the region.
Towards the end of 2021, Senegal and Rwanda collaborated with BioNTech for the development of its first start-to-finish factories equipped to manufacture mRNA vaccines in Africa.
Nkengasong also urged African countries to adopt an amalgamated or a diverse combination of public health measures, vaccines, testing, and other therapies or treatments such as the ones provided by Pfizer in their battle against the Covid-19 pandemic this year.
As Nkengasong likes to quote it – these molecules showcase a unique and vital role in the struggle to survive the brutal pandemic.
Besides encouraging prompt health measures, Nkengasong also highlighted concerns about countries with relatively lower vaccination rates which encompasses a majority of African nations, asking the public not to be ignorant as the virus still remains a potential threat for people.
Moreover, Nkengasong scrutinized the sudden change of attention that has drifted from Covid-19 to the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict considering the pandemic has successfully eliminated six million lives.