South Africa to receive funds to develop 1st mRNA vaccine production hub

South Africa to receive funds to develop 1st mRNA vaccine production hub

With the scare of Omicron variant spreading worldwide, the South African and French governments, along with the WHO, reportedly announced working together to host Africa’s Covid-19 vaccine production facility, making way for the African companies to commence the manufacturing of mRNA vaccines.

As per sources, Omicron variant has highlighted the shortage of Covid-19 vaccines in the African continent while it remains the worst affected by the unjust vaccine distribution. Apparently, the non-wealthy nations still struggle to gain access to vaccines with not even 10% of the 54 African nations being able to reach the target of fully vaccinating 40% of the population by the end of the year.

As per credible reports, South African consortium has been established to develop a technology transfer hub along with Biovac and a local company, Afrigen, which will together produce Africa’s first regionally developed mRNA jab.

For the uninitiated, the mRNA technology guides the cells to develop a protein which brings in an immune response in the body generating antibodies that fight against diseases. This technology is a vital ingredient in the Covid-19 vaccines like Moderna, BioNTech/Pfizer.

Reportedly, the South African association, the WHO and partners from COVAX have been working determinedly to turn this whole scenario into a reality.

The other allies include the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the DSI, the South African Medical Research Council and top regional universities.

Reportedly, the anticipated budget for the technological setup is €92 billion for nearly five years with €52 million being already raised so far. This initiative is supported by numerous donors including Canada, France, Germany and others.

Buti Manamela, DSI Deputy Minister, commented that the government is proud that the vaccination hub for Africa is being set up in Cape Town.

Manamela added that the establishment would also stand as a validation to the quality of South Africa’s scientific infrastructure and expertise and would meanwhile emerge as a vote of confidence in the country’s capability of vaccine submissions.   

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