Less than two percent of Africa’s population has been vaccinated against Covid-19. Could homegrown vaccines be the solution? If so, why isn’t it happening? Is it an issue with patents and intellectual property rights? Is big pharma standing in the way? Or is it simply about money and profits?
Things are beginning to happen. Last month a consortium was set up with the aim of opening an mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa. If they succeed it will be the first regional mRNA vaccine manufacturing production facility in Africa.
In this edition of Business Daily, Tamasin Ford hears from Marie-Paule Kieny, the chair of the Governance Board of the Medicines Patent Pool, Toyin Abiodun from the Tony Blair Global Institute for Change, based in Rwanda, and from Petro Terblanche, the Managing Director of Afrigen, the South African biotech company where the first African vaccines will hopefully be produced.
(Image: Health workers prepare a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during a mass vaccination campaign against the Covid-19, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Credit: Getty Images.)
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