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WHO to set up mRNA COVID vaccine center in South Africa Coronavirus pandemic news

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that initiatives to promote universal access to vaccines “will put Africa on a path of self-determination”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that it is establishing a center In South Africa, companies in poor and middle-income countries are provided with know-how and licenses to produce COVID-19 vaccines. President Cyril Ramaphosa called this a historic step in the spread of life-saving technology.

According to the WHO, the “Technology Transfer Center” can allow African companies to start producing mRNA vaccines in just 9 to 12 months, the advanced technology currently used in Pfizer’s BioNTech and Moderna injections.

WHO Director-General Tan Desai announced that it aims to promote access to vaccines across the African continent. In the past week, the number of coronavirus infections and deaths on the African continent has increased by nearly 40%.

Tedros said at a press conference in Geneva on Monday: “Today I am pleased to announce that WHO is discussing the establishment of a technology transfer center in South Africa with a consortium of companies and institutions.”

“The consortium involves an Afrigen Biologics & Vaccines company that will act as a center by manufacturing its own mRNA vaccines and providing training for the manufacturer Biovac,” he added.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that there are several options on the desktop, mainly smaller companies and biotech companies, adding: “We are also in discussions with larger mRNA companies and I very much hope that they can join. “

Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are the main manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA technology.

“We can see vaccines being produced in Africa and South Africa in 9 to 12 months,” Swaminathan said.

“Changing the Narrative in Africa”

Ramaphosa stated that the initiative “will change the notion that Africa is the center of disease and maldevelopment.”

He said: “This landmark move is a major advancement in international efforts to build vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities, which will put Africa on the road to self-determination.”

The President of South Africa referred to the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on his proposal Intellectual Property Exemption Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, it added: “Today is historic and we think this is a step in the right direction, but this does not distract us from the initial recommendations made by India and South Africa, that we should See the TRIPS exemption in the WTO.”

The South African president said that many people in developing countries are “still struggling to obtain billions of vaccines produced in the north”.

He said that the unequal distribution of vaccines was unfair and described the lives of people in rich countries as “more valuable than those in poor countries.”

Also on Monday, Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s head of emergency, said that the United Nations health agency will follow up on Monday the Olympic Games and the Japanese authorities’ decision. Allow domestic fans to participate Summer games.

Ryan pointed out that the recent incidence of COVID-19 in Japan is lower than in many other countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, France and the Netherlands.

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