The World Health Organization, alongside its COVAX vaccines partners, announced a plan to establish its first COVID mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub. WHO partners include Biovac, Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, a network of universities and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The WHO disclosed this in a statement on Monday evening, citing that the hub would be based in South Africa, following its call in April 2021 for an Expression of Interest to build COVID mRNA vaccine technology transfer hubs in Africa and scale up production and access to COVID vaccines.
WHO added that technology transfer hubs are training facilities where the technology is established at industrial scale and clinical development as ” Interested manufacturers from low- and middle-income countries can receive training and any necessary licenses to the technology. WHO and partners will bring in the production know-how, quality control and necessary licenses to a single entity to facilitate a broad and rapid technology transfer to multiple recipients.”
What they are saying
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said, “This is great news, particularly for Africa, which has the least access to vaccines.”
“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of local production to address health emergencies, strengthen regional health security and expand sustainable access to health products,” he added.
The President of France, Mr Emmanuel Macron said, “This initiative is the first of a long list to come, that we will keep supporting, with our partners, united in the belief that acting for global public goods is the fight of the century and that it cannot wait.”
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the initiative is a major advance in the international effort to build vaccine development and manufacturing capacity that will put Africa on a path to self-determination.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported last week that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said Nigeria is willing to cooperate with the U.S Government in a bid to vaccinate 70% of its population, citing Nigeria seeking U.S cooperation to purchase vaccines directly from companies