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Africa’s $2.6-billion kitty for future pandemics

Africa’s $2.6-billion kitty for future pandemics

JENNIFER RIGBY SEVERAL billions of dollars left in a scheme to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the world's poorest could be diverted to prepare for other pandemics or to support vaccine manufacturing in Africa, the scheme's partners said. The COVAX initiative, run by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), has $2.6 billion left in its coffers as the emergency phase of the pandemic draws to a close, according to documents seen by Reuters and two sources close to the scheme. The initiative is set to wind up at the end…
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WTO chief hits the ground running

WTO chief hits the ground running

EMMA FARGE and PHILIP BLENKINSOP THE new chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has urged its member states to work with pharmaceutical companies to license more COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in developing countries in order to triple global production. "People are dying in poor countries," Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on her first day in office. "The world has a normal capacity of production of 3.5 billion doses of vaccines and we now seek to manufacture 10 billion doses." Her call comes as a group of developing countries led by South Africa and India seek to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19…
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Africa must expand vaccine production, leaders say

Africa must expand vaccine production, leaders say

ALEXANDER WINNING AFRICA must expand vaccine manufacturing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and future health emergencies, including by forging partnerships to boost expertise and investment, continental leaders and international health officials said yesterday. Africa has struggled to acquire coronavirus vaccines and imports the vast majority of its medicines and medical equipment, leaving it at the mercy of overseas supplies. Its mainly poor nations are falling behind in the global coronavirus vaccination race with under 13 million doses administered so far to the continent's 1.3 billion people, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said last week. World…
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WHO optimistic about African vaccine sites

WHO optimistic about African vaccine sites

WORLD Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hopes African COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing sites will be identified and some even close to producing by the end of 2021, in the race to deliver more shots to the continent. While Tedros did not provide specifics on which country, Reuters has reported that Senegal could begin producing COVID-19 vaccines next year under an agreement with Belgian biotech group Univercells aimed at boosting Africa's drug-manufacturing ambitions. Tedros also called on companies including Pfizer and Moderna whose vaccines rely on so-called mRNA technology to share their knowledge with the WHO's COVID-19 Technology Access Pool, which…
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