World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that about three countries in Africa are being considered for the installation of local production capacity for Covid-19 vaccines.
The global health body also said that following the pledge by the G7 to donate over 800 million doses of vaccines, it expects the availability of vaccines to improve.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the WHO Country Representative, Dr Kazadi Mulombo, said, ‘Following the decision of India not to export Covid-19 vaccines, as you know, the G7 has also announced when they were addressing the issue of vaccine equity, that there is a push towards lifting the patent and to try and decentralise the vaccine production.
‘Currently, there is a consideration to select up to three countries in Africa to install that capacity, so that they will install local production and upscale the production.
‘The G7 also pledged more than 800 million doses of Covd-19 vaccine to be shared through the COVAX mechanism. It is expected that over the next few weeks, the availability of vaccines will improve.
‘Covid-19 cases on the African continent will soon pass the five million mark and as Africa heads towards a sad milestone and a looming third wave, many African lives are at stake. In the last two weeks, Africa recorded a 53 percent increase in cases compared with the previous fortnight.
‘There are, however, five countries (e.g., Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia) currently experiencing a resurgence.
‘The threat of a third wave of Covid-19 is real and is rising in the African region, including Nigeria. A rapid rollout of Covid-19 vaccines is therefore important, while intensifying Covid-19 preventive measures such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue’.
The UN agency plans to carry out the development of he vaccine cold chains with support from the government of Japan.
Development Diaries gathered that the Asian country announced that it will provide approximately U.S.$39 million in emergency funds to UNICEF for the project.
Photo source: Africa CDC