Our website use cookies to improve and personalize your experience and to display advertisements (if any). Our website may also include cookies from third parties like Google Adsense, Google Analytics, and Youtube. By using the website, you consent to the use of cookies.

Senegal to build COVID-19 vaccine plant in bid to expand African access

CONSTRUCTION of a new plant in Senegal to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines is expected to begin later this year, and the facility should produce 25 million doses per month by the end of 2022, the financiers of the project have announced.

The Institut Pasteur in Senegal’s capital Dakar, which will run the plant, and various European development partners said the facility would help Africa reduce its dependence on vaccine imports, which currently account for 99% of its needs.

That reliance on outside manufacturing has proved costly during the pandemic. Only a little more than 1% of the continent’s population has been fully vaccinated, and many African countries are now seeing fresh spikes in cases.

European countries and institutions, including the European Commission, European Investment Bank, France and Germany, committed 6.75 million euros ($8.01 million) in grants to support the construction of the plant during a ceremony in Dakar.

The investment comes on top of previous commitments by Germany and France and is part of a 1 billion euro ($1.19 billion) initiative announced by the European Commission in May to bolster access to vaccines and other medicines in Africa.

“With today’s agreement, Team Europe is helping Senegal move one important step closer to producing its own vaccines and protecting Africans from COVID-19 and other diseases,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the statement.

The statement did not say which vaccines would be produced in Senegal.

READ:  Senegal gas projects near final investment decisions

There are currently fewer than 10 African manufacturers that produce vaccines in Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia. South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare produces the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Senegal’s Institut Pasteur is the only facility in Africa currently producing a vaccine – a yellow fever shot – that is pre-qualified by the World Health Organization, which requires manufacturers to meet strict international standards.

By The African Mirror